To my family, I’m a sister, daughter, mother, niece, aunt, and cousin, but the title I’ve enjoyed the most is Nini (aka grandmother). Thanks to my grandkids, I’ve seen every Toy Story movie, I’ve learned about Kidz Bop radio, I’ve been to the zoo multiple times in one year, I’ve eaten at the Rain Forest Café, and I’ve learned that pizza and popcorn really are OK for breakfast!
When my oldest granddaughter was about 8, she got angry with me about something (I don’t remember what it was), and yelled, “Nini, I hate you!” While my feelings were hurt and we had to visit about her behavior, my love for her never wavered. I really love my grandkids and would do anything good for them. They could break the most expensive item in my house, and while I’d be disappointed, I’d forgive them. If one of them was about to be hit by a truck, I’d jump in front of them without thinking twice. If we were starving and there wasn’t enough food for everyone to eat, my grandkids would eat first. You get the idea; there’s nothing they could ever do to stop me from loving them.
I have my grandkids on a pedestal. I think they’re all beautiful and precocious, and I know God has great plans for them. But despite this, there’s something my grandkids do that really breaks my heart; they aren’t always kind to one another. Sometimes they say ugly things, they can be selfish, they can be resentful, they don’t always demonstrate love for one another! It’s exactly how God must see us.
When we’re in danger, He protects us. When we need something, He provides it for us. There’s nothing we can ever do to stop Him from loving us. However, there are things we do that must surely break His heart; we say unkind things to His children, we harbor resentment, we think only of ourselves; just like the grandkids!
The Bible clearly tells us that we’re to love, forgive, and be kind to everyone (“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Cor. 13:7). But how can we do this when people aren’t loving, forgiving, and kind to us? Some hurts are so deep, they take longer to heal. Sometimes we think we’re ready to forgive, but we really aren’t. But when we’re ready, God will pour His Spirit into us and grant us freedom to love as He loves. He wants to free us for joyful obedience!
“Unforgiveness is like eating poison and waiting for the other person to die!” (author unknown) Who do you need to forgive today so you can freely love?
– Susan Easttom, Director of Family Ministry