(This is part of a series called Enduring to the End - Overcoming Offenses, Bitterness and Unforgiveness)
Mark 11:25 "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses."
The church where my husband and I met is still pastored by a pastor we dearly love. This pastor and his wife have taught us so much about life, marriage, grace, freedom, and even were instrumental in me getting involved in politics. I say all that to say, even men and women of God are not perfect. We have to remember that and know only God is perfect.
One day about a year and a half after the church had started, the associate pastor called Tim and I and wanted to meet. He informed us that a man had joined the church who had the ability to lead worship and since he was a MAN - the head pastor had decided that he wanted me to step down and let the man take over. He held the philosophy that women were fine to do ministry until a man was raised up, but a man in all roles of ministry was God’s ultimate desire.
This decision made no sense to any of us, but he just shook his head. The decision had been made.
A root of bitterness starts as a seed. It starts small, but then grows into a giant plant and can soon take over your entire life as a tree. It is deadly. We have to watch for it in our own hearts and guard against offenses and bitterness taking root.
It can take you out and cause you to not be able to endure to the end. Don't let it. Forgive quickly.
In this case - I don't think it was more than a year later that I was recording an album and I asked this associate pastor to sing backup with me. I had to move on regardless of how painful it was.
After I got into politics - I specifically went and thanked that senior pastor for his investment in my life - teaching me about history, about government, and about the Kingdom of God. His value in my life was not defined by this one decision that he made. I forgave....
Martin Luther King Jr.