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Forgiveness

If you want people to like you, forgive them when they wrong you. Remembering wrongs can break up a friendship. -Proverbs 17:9 (GNT)

Lately I am getting hammered with messages about forgiveness and how critical it is as a Christian to practice it with those I am angry with -- even when I feel like someone deserves my wrath or hatred for the things they have done. Such is the case concerning conflict I am currently [once again] having with my stepson. I am in the process of having him and his entourage evicted from an apartment we rent them.

While there is a large amount of sadness involved, it is not surrounding having him or his significant other removed, but rather for the children. The fact of the matter is I really dislike him and his girlfriend and I need to deal with this, needing to find it within myself to forgive them for [what I perceive] is the wrong they have done to both my wife and myself. I keep getting constant messages about this from both preachers on T.V. and daily devotional readings. There is no mistaking the origin of these messages.

I must confess that I brought all this on myself by letting them rent the apartment [against my wife's wishes] almost 4 years ago [and I now know against the wishes of my LORD]. They were not married -- which should have been enough right there for me not to enable the behavior I clearly now know God does not approve of in the first place. They were planing to get married, she had a little boy and things seemed so nice. I thought it would end up being a good thing and it certainly was convenient for me not to have a gap in rental income. They were supposed to get married, raise their family and live happily ever after -- according to my plan. They managed to have two other children and are still not married. Frankly, I don't see marriage in their future, based on the way they fight and the terrible things they say about each other. With some self-examination, I admit that the biggest motivating factor for renting to them was simply fear of losing the monthly income. My stepson's behavior seemed different than it had been in the past, so I went along with it -- thinking they would only live together some place else and this way we can somehow fix things. I certainly should have known better, but instead repeated the same mistakes I had done in the past [in my own life] while expecting different results. I have been an enabler of their life style -- which I know God does not approve of and, therefore, I shouldn't, either.

As I get into the Word of God more and more in my life and fellowship with like-minded Christians, I have come to have the sin I have in my own life exposed more and more, therefore forcing me to take action in accordance with the dictates of my sovereign LORD. The believe the operative word here is repent. While I thank God for His unending grace and patience, I know I am forced to make changes. The Holy Spirit is giving me enough of a level of discomfort to be forced to acknowledge this and take action.

UPDATE: They went to court yesterday and reach an agreement whereby they must vacate the property by the end of July. I am hoping I will not have to take further action because of any damage. Hopefully, they will leave in peace and the healing process can begin, in regard to the whole affair.

When I was their age I remember that everything was the fault of someone other than me. Some person, place or thing was always doing bad things to me that I didn't deserve. The Big book of Alcoholics Anonymous talks about an Alcoholic's root problem being selfishness or self-centeredness. I think that applies to most people to one degree or another and is more a part of the human condition than assignable to a specific group of people such as alcoholics. However, perhaps the problem is more extreme in the case of an alcoholic or addict. Certainly, in the case of my stepson and his girlfriend, it's pretty extreme. At any rate, hopefully the next 5 weeks will fly by and this will all be over.

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