This is a subject I’m acquainted with. I’d just published the book God assigned me and at 90 years old, I thought I was finished writing. But God has always had a way to stir me to write, and now it is well under way again. He arranges for a certain subject to show up way too many times over a short period for it to be purely co-incidental. This time, I see people around me failing to repent when they sense that they have offended someone, whether by words or deed. We knew to repent to God when we got saved, but it is easy to forget we also owe repentance, an apologetic acknowledgment of a wrong we are responsible for, to people we offend. If confronted about it, unfortunately, more often than not the confronter is accused of judging.
Someone needs to explain what judging really is Biblically so they will see that their interpretation is only half right, and that there is the other half that is not right. Real judging has two parts. The first part is to assess the person or situation. The second part is to apply a penalty or reward for the deed. (This would include even wishing a penalty on another.) Jesus did not come to judge, but He assessed everybody with whom He came in contact. And He did confront others.
I’ve searched hard to find a way of writing this essay without pointing a finger at a particular individual, but I find myself left with only my own personal testimony experiences with others.
A recent incident was when a man in our church lounge approached our table and interrupted a deep conversation several of us were in. I asked the man to wait, let the speaker finish first. This man took offense from my action, and I soon found out he was spreading bad words about me to others behind my back. When I confronted him, he angrily clammed up, so I avoided him. Months later, he began coming around me like nothing had happened. I told him I wasn’t going to take part in a friendship where he never acknowledged his wrongdoing. Yes, I forgave him, but that does not mean I need to let him back into my life where I would be unable to trust him again and would be forced to feign friendship. Let that sink in: An unconfessed wrong against a brother or mate causes a trust and respect problem and the offender may never know the reason. If it is not resolved by real repentance, it will remain a dormant thorn in a relationship. This is about the other side of repentance, how the victim of an unrepented offence is affected.
Next, I am going to use my own personal experiences from within my marriage. Please note I am not telling you to see how bad my wife was and how good I was. Believe me, I know I was NOT a good example and am fully aware I am a sinner saved by grace.
It has been a long time since my wife died. We were two people who had no idea how to get along in love, nurturing one-another through both good and bad times. Since her death, God has taken me on the Difficult Path mentioned in Mt. 7:13-14. ( top ) This is where you voluntarily follow Him Spiritually through deep valleys of deliverances. There, proper foundations are laid upon which wisdom can be formed. This is quite unlike the hidden defensive foundations we built in our childhood. I’ll get to those latter foundations later. Here I’ll try to show the subject points in a testimony to demonstrate the hidden high cost of not being confrontable.
Our marriage began well. We seemed to hit it off good for almost a year. I worked near our apartment and walked to work. My wife took our car to a nearby town where she worked. I would get home sooner than she, so I’d clean house and do the dishes before she came home.
One day something came up I had to take care of and barely got done by the time she got home. As soon as she saw the unwashed dishes still there, she became furious. She would not hear what had caused me to not be able to do the dishes yet. There was no calming her down, and I didn’t know what to do. She even threw a large soft drink bottle at me that broke a hole in the wall. This went from there into several days of the silent treatment.
What she did not understand was that I could no longer freely give her loving help because it had now become an “or-else” demand. She never apologized nor took responsibility for her part. Her not repenting kept the “or else” threat in place for the rest of our married life as many more similar instances took place. This took away the joy of freely giving love, and she never came to understand that. Any discussion on the subject was off the table to avoid another go-around. At that time, neither of us was fully committed to God. It showed.
Let’s get something out of the way before going further in this. As part of that Narrow Path walk with Jesus, I found I needed an attitude deliverance. I had not always responded to offenses well, myself. But a major change came in me when I was put on trial in my church for lies a lay-leader told pastors and others about me. My attitude had not been good toward those who judged me as guilty without giving me a chance to even speak my defense in the trial. After, God made it plain I was to apologize for my anger towards them, and to do this without bringing up where they were wrong. I obeyed Him, even knowing they would wrongly assume it was an admission of guilt. (But I got a spiritual anger deliverance by that obedience, praise the Lord!)
Now, since I’ve walked that narrow Hard Path, I can look back and see the “whys” in our marriage situation. In this, Holy Spirit took me back into my childhood memories to see how our personalities are formed. Only Holy Spirit could bring up those long-ago memories for us to see how and why we chose to respond to situations in the ways we did. It was the going through the hazards of dodging shame as we went about trying to fit in with peers. That is actually what formed our adult personality. We were willing to go to extremes to keep from being rejected by the ones with whom we related. That is the power of shame. Few are willing to revisit those times, even though Jesus wants all of us to take that walk of deliverance with Him.
I don’t remember how we finally got past the silent treatment that first time, but there would come many more silent treatments over the years and they all ended much the same way. One way used most often I remember well. I might be out in the yard talking to the neighbors and she would join us and slip her arm around my waist as though everything was alright. That, of course, caused me to have to feign that all was well between us. She was an entirely different person when others were around. It always left me feeling I was ever climbing over a barrier that would always be there between us. My wife’s idea of “belonging to each other” went far beyond proper bounds. It would upset her if she saw me talking to anyone else, including our children.
I cannot remember my wife ever admitting she did anything wrong, nor did I ever hear her say she was sorry. She just wanted to let those situations fade as if they never happened. Unfortunately, there are what is called, “familiar spirits.” Those are evil spirits that offspring often acquire by family example. In her case, her father was quite overbearing and stubborn. It is not hard to see how all the children in that family became whom they became. And this is the real problem. Bible preachers shy away from teaching about the evil spirits whose only purpose is to keep us from regaining that which was lost in the Garden of Eden, the image of God in us.
Probably we all have seen others who have a wonderful relationship in their marriage. They probably know to repent when it is needed. But others may only seem to have that relationship, each having compromised to never cross the other’s improperly set boundaries. This, because if one happens to get near exposing the other’s hidden shame or defense of their shame, look out! It is then revealed they have an armed truce, not real love.
Losing the image of God in us has been with us right from the start in the Garden of Eden. When God confronted Adam and Eve, it was their opportunity to repent and ask forgiveness, but instead, they justified themselves. Adam hinted it was God’s fault for bringing that woman to him. Eve blamed the devil for deceiving her. Blame shifting to justify themselves. This continues to this day in mankind. It even fits perfectly into the discussion above of being unrepentant and also unwilling to be confronted about it.
We all began in our childhood to try to avoid punishment or shame when we did wrong. In the inevitable following silent mind struggle, it became easier and easier to shift blame. For example, the man I spoke of above who would not repent could argue in his mind that it was not his fault that I lacked forgiveness. (I had forgiven him, but not to his face, as he refused to repent.) Or in my wife’s case, she could argue in her mind that I should be more loving, not considering that she was the one who made it an unrelenting much harder chore than it needed to be.
I hope you see that non-repentance of an offense can be a hidden iniquity in us. It is an evil stronghold that we unknowingly developed in our youth when we were struggling to find our place in the world. It is so deeply buried in us and was so oft used, that by the time we are adults we assume it has been proven to be proper and within our rights to maintain our position for our lifetime. We could be wrong. One of the fortress walls of that stronghold is how hard it is to specifically admit a shameful personal flaw, ignoring the Word telling us that ALL are sinners. It is possible to allow Holy Spirit to tear down that stronghold.
This short essay’s purpose is meant to trigger deeper insight to our purpose of being redeemed to the image of God, that which was lost in the Garden of Eden. For the glory of God, it is hoped this message will be forwarded freely to other believers. Only a portion is shown here of an expanded book version on Amazon. Title is, “What is it about THE BLOOD OF JESUS.” That, with my full author name, David Lane Williams, will make the book available in Ebook or Paperback.
- SPIRITUAL AGREEMENTS (AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES) - David L. Williams Sooner or later, Christianity must come to a deeper realization that each believer is in an invisible war.
- Just What Are the Wiles of the Devil? A short treatment of how the devil really deceives us.
- LAST DAYS DECEPTION Jesus warned us of Last Days deception and that the deceived could possibly include Christians.
- LAYERS OF BIBLE REVELATION, SHEPHERDS BEWARE; or, WHY ARE THE churches FAILING? (Mt. 23:34) The Bible has many layers of depth – if one wants to know them.
- Open Letter to Pastors What will Jesus have to say to pastors on judgment day? “Well done” or “Depart”?
- Seek First the Kingdom of God (But Where Is It?) - David L. Williams A powerful presentation of fresh manna for these last days.
- Walking With God; Through the Fire - David L. Williams This small booklet is a powerhouse and wealth of insight into spiritual warfare, “church” malfunctions and the deepening of our spiritual walk with God. A must read - and one to reread often! - for all who wish to go further on with and deeper into the Lord. Also available as a downloadable Word file which the author requests that you forward by email to anyone the Lord would have you do so. Walking With God; Through the Fire (Downloadable version)
Opening Spiritual Eyes - Table of Contents Are we satisfied with the Church as it is? A better question to ask is, “Is Jesus satisfied with the Church as it is?”
I’d love to hear comments and/or questions from you! Email me!
God bless you.