Recently I’ve had a disagreement with the leadership at my church. I have asked for and  received my Pastor’s permission to share this situation publicly on my blog page. The conflict was over women’s ministry – the lack of it. The church has currently stopped most women’s ministry events. The plan is to shift over to community groups. This plan really clashes with my heart and my calling.  I love women’s ministry! I feel called to serve in some leadership capacity within women’s ministry. My expectation was to serve in my own church. Recently, on several occasions, the pastor and I have talked and emailed each other about the decision to move away from women’s ministry and move toward community groups. I am so thankful for a courageous pastor who will directly engage in conversations that are uncomfortable. He’ll say, “let’s keep communicating about this.” I respect him for addressing my concern.

However, something in my heart was not right. I got to the place where I didn’t like anything the pastor or the church was doing.  I was very critical. And I’d have to say this is simply out of character for me. One morning while praying for him, I heard the Lord whisper the word “enmity” to me. I had to look that one up. Enmity means: “the state or feeling of being actively opposed or hostile to someone or something.” My critical attitude showed that I did in fact have enmity in my heart. How did that happen? Where was the open door?

My prayer:  Dear Jesus, I do not want to feel actively opposed to anybody and especially not my pastor or church leadership. Please forgive me for this sin in my heart. It really is quite ugly. And Jesus I forgive my pastor and my church leadership for not meeting my expectations. That’s not their job. I need to rest in your will for me at this time.

God’s Word to us:  Oh Daughter, I love you and am so glad you brought Me this sin to forgive. I am equally glad you have chosen to forgive your pastor for I know he loves you very much and wants you to be one with the church and its purposes. I release you from the guilt and shame you feel from having these negative feelings. I will bless you in your church again by having right relationships there, for it is very important. And thank you for your vulnerability in sharing this with others. It will help others with past hurts in their churches as well. Forgiveness inside the church is key.

“Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord?
    Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
 Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right,
    speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
 Those who refuse to gossip
    or harm their neighbors
    or speak evil of their friends.
     and keep their promises even when it hurts.”
Psalm 15:1-3,4b

My Heart’s Cry is for us to live a life of forgiveness within the church. When we hold a grudge against someone inside or outside the church, it is harmful for us. It ruins relationships. I was ruining my very good relationship with my pastor. Look at this verse above (Psalm 15:1-3, 4b). Honestly, I was having a very hard time refusing to gossip and not speaking evil of this man of God. I was also having a hard time keeping my word – my promise to volunteer – especially when it was inconvenient. The scripture asks the question: “Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord….” and then a list of specifications is given to answer that question. I was not following them. Well then, this leads me to another verse:

“But when you are praying,
first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against,
so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”
Mark 11:25

These processes are put in place because God knows His creation. He knows what happens to us when we harbor a grudge against someone or even a church’s leadership team. See how having just one unmet expectation wrecks havoc and needs to be dealt with?

After forgiving, I felt so much better! I don’t feel enmity any longer. It’s gone. I feel healthy in this area and am now excited about going to church and being involved. I look forward to discussing this conflict further in a healthy respectful way. Hopefully these discussions will lead toward growth and understanding in both my pastor and myself.

Is there someone you’ve been holding a grudge against? Your church, your pastor, friend, husband? An adult or even a child? Maybe it’s an organization or ministry. Jesus is asking you to forgive them. You will feel so much better when you do! And I think it’s because of the second part of this verse, “so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins too.” 

I encourage you to decide to forgive. Choose to forgive in obedience to Christ.

I must say this has been the hardest thing to post. I actually considered whether I really wanted to be this vulnerable. After praying though, I thought, I want you to be free of these negative feelings too. So I must share. So with love -Kim





4 thoughts on “Forgivness

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  1. It’s funny at times when we feel the need like you said for the church to work for us when we should be going to church for the word. If we think about how much time people have to take out of their personal lives to help others it can get overwhelming with so many ministry groups from the church to meet everyone’s needs. Giving it to the community to take care of is a great idea because everyone is sharing the responsibility to help each other, It’s not just on the pastor’s shoulders for him to take care of it all. Like the pastor says we all have gifts so we should share them. I get bummed out a bit when some programs get canceled, but many times I was not able to go to them anyway. The evil one wants to distract us to take the importance away from god to put our minds on something else. Yes, we do need ministries to help teach us, but we won’t know the direction we must go for the ministries if gods not directing us first. The word can’t stay in one place it must be shared everywhere. I’m glad God was there for you.

    1. I am aware of how busy we all are. In fact I just had coffee and talked with a friend about our busyness. How can we take more off our family’s plate. What activities can we let go of for our family’s sanity’s sake. Forgiveness has been key in my heart to let go of what I cannot change in what’s being dropped and not dropped at church. For I will say it again…I love women’s ministry. Thanks for commenting!!

  2. How easy it is to harbor anger and be critical against those in authority. I am thankful for the Lord, who can convict us of this folly and help us to move forward, trusting in His protection and provision. And the forgiveness,…. oh that blessed forgiveness! What a beautiful thing to walk in the freedom that He IS in control and knows what’s best.

    You are not alone, my friend. There is nothing like the special bond of sisterhood that godly women share to support each other and help each other move toward health and wholeness in Christ.

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