• Does Forgiveness Equal Restored Relationship?

    forgiveness restored relationship“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God’s example…”
                                                                                 Ephesians 4:32-5:1 NIV

    Life is so generous to give us lots of opportunities to extend forgiveness to people who hurt us. What’s the proper response to offence? Do we always have to forgive?

    Does forgiveness =equal= restored relationship?

    If we are to follow God’s example, as this verse instructs us, then forgiveness is a must and restored relationships need to be our intent.

    Sadly, I don’t think forgiveness can always lead to restored relationships, and we see that in Jesus’ relationship with the Pharisees.

    Isaiah 59:2 explains that our sin is an offence to God, separating us in our relationship with Him. The more we sin and the longer we continue offending Him, the more distant our relationship with Him becomes. Forgiveness can take place in an instant when a prayer is whispered, but it takes time to rebuild a relationship with God.

    Restoration happens when we take ownership of our offense and change our ways. We have to go through a process to rebuild our closeness with the Father.

    The same principle needs to be applied to our earthly relationships.
    We must forgive others for their offenses towards us. If we don’t, it keeps us bound in bitterness. It’s healthy to learn that a restored relationship is separate from forgiveness and requires a healing process.
    When approaching relationship restoration, we need to consider the whole counsel of scripture.

    Proverbs 4:23 warns,

    “Guard your heart above all else,
    for it determines the course of your life” (NLT).

    Proverbs 22:24 cautions,

    “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,
    do not associate with one easily angered...”
    Forgiveness + Ownership + Repentence = Restored Relationship

    Sometimes you’ll need to forgive and protect yourself from unhealthy or even toxic relationships. In the best of times, forgiveness leads to a better, stronger restored relationship.


    Father, I thank You for Your forgiveness. I ask for the grace to forgive others in my life who have hurt and offended me. I take myself out of the judge’s seat and release them to Your judgement and justice. Please help me to guard my heart, without closing it in the area of relationship restoration. May I walk in Your wholeness. In Jesus’ name, amen.
    Drawing from the well
    1. Ephesians 4:32
    2. Isaiah 59:2
    3. Proverbs 22:24–25
    4. Proverbs 4:23

    Soul H2OThis post was first published on January 19, 2014 and then included in my first Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.
    Devotion #17 – Forgiveness and Restored Relationship.  The original devotion also inspired a #musicpic post called, The Forgiveness Song

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  • I’ve Been Binge-Watching Netflix

    binge watching netflix 
    “bless those who curse you,
    pray for those who mistreat you.”
    ~Luke 6:28 NIV

    This week I’ve been really sick {insert coughing fit}.  I finally got some antibiotics, but it’s just not letting up so,

    I’ve Been Binge-Watching Netflix!

    Isn’t that the new national sickness pastime?

    THE CROWN NETFLIXTodd and I have been fascinated with The Crown Series and I’m sad because there’s only two episodes left for us.  Learning about Queen Elizabeth and the royal family has been incredible.  You see their humanness and the personal struggles they faced.  The Queen is truly a remarkable woman who has lead through so much adversity.  One episode called, Vergangenheit; which translates as ‘past’ in German is stuck in my head.

    The Vergangenheit episode chronicles a time when Billy Graham brought his crusades to England.  As the head of the Church of England, Queen Elizabeth’s family didn’t think it was appropriate for her to come under the American Evangelist’s teaching, but the simple Christian; as she calls herself, finds great hope in Graham’s messages.

    As God would have it, the evangelists visits takes place at the same time as an opportunity for forgiveness arises in her life. The Queen’s Uncle, who had abdicated the throne and left it to her father was begging for them to allow him back into the country and restore him to a position in the government.

    The Queen’s desire to forgive as Christ forgave was so pure.  In the heart of forgiveness, she almost allowed her uncle to bamboozle the family again.  God allowed hidden documents from the past to surface at just the right time so the Queen could base her decision to restore the relationship with her uncle on this new information. As the Bible says in Numbers 32:23, “be sure your sins will find you out”.  The ex-king’s past ties to the Nazi regime and betrayal of the family was confirmed, allowing Elizabeth to sever those unhealthy family ties.

    The most powerful part of this episode happened when Queen Elizabeth asked again to meet with Rev. Graham to discuss forgiveness on a deeper level.  Billy Graham is recorded as saying,

    “the solution for being unable to forgive…
    pray for those one cannot forgive.” 
    ~Billy Graham

    The cameras show her pondering these words and then switches to her kneeling at the altar, eyes toward heaven, praying.   The scene then moves to her praying before bed when her husband, affirms to her how the decision to banish this dastardly uncle from the Kingdom was a heroic, godly act of a sovereign protecting her people.  An example of the shepherd guarding the sheep.

    There were so many spiritual applications to this episode I could write for days, but the overarching theme was Forgiveness vs. Restored Relationship and I couldn’t help but think about the devotion I wrote back in 2014 with the title Does Forgiveness =Equal= Restored Relationship?

    May we all follow the examples of Jesus and Queen Elizabeth when it comes to forgiveness.  Pray for those you struggle to forgive and allow the Lord to release you from the stranglehold of offense.


    Father…I thank You for forgiving me.  Help my heart to never be bound up by unforgiveness because I’m not the judge, only You are.  Help me to forgive as You did.  When hurt emotions spring up in my heart reminding me of those who’ve offended me, help me to pray and release them into Your care, Your justice, Your hands. In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]Pray for those you struggle to forgive[/tweetthis]

    If forgiveness and the questions of moving towards relationship restoration is an issue your struggling with, I do encourage you to read my previous post, Does Forgiveness =Equal= Restored Relationship?

    Soul H2O BookIf you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.

    Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!

    Drawing from the well

    1. Luke 6:28
    2. Matthew 5:44
    3. Romans 12:14
    4. 1 Peter 3:9


    MONDAY Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis, Soul Survival – Donna Reidland,
    TUESDAY Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah JoyCounting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell ELLEN’S PICKS– Ellen Graf-Martin


    1. Website Accessed:  2018-02-05

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  • Forgiveness…the song

    For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis, you know that I love music!  God speaks to me so clearly through song!  If only I could sing 🙂  Yesterday’s devotional on “Forgiveness and Restored Relationship” just keeps going through my mind.  It ended up being a big part of our Bible Study discussion last night.   Matthew West’s song “Forgiveness”  keeps running through my mind ever since the idea for the devotional came into my thoughts.  Last June Todd and I went to The International Christian Retail Show in St. Louis and got to see Matthew West Emcee a “New Talent” Night.  We have loved his music for years and it was great to see a different side of him–the funny side!  It was a fun night and we were blessed to receive his book on Forgiveness.

    Matthew West at ICRS St. Louis
    Matthew West at ICRS St. Louis

    If you’ve never heard this song, you’re missing out!  The story that inspired the song is amazing!  It’s a wonderful story of forgiveness that led to a completely unexpected restored relationship.  Click on the links below that go to the youtube links for his song and the short video clip or his website where you can buy his awesome music.  Hope you listen and are inspired to forgive!
    Matthew WestSong–Forgiveness
    Story Behind The Song–Forgiveness Video Clip
    Matthew West’s Website

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