Jesus leads accountant to repentance
L had struggled with her parents’ constant bickering most of her life, seeing it as the reason for her unhappiness. Jesus lovingly led her to repent of her judgment and recognise her need to love them as He loves her. Here is her testimony of how the Holy Spirit graciously convicted her heart and led her closer to loving them unconditionally. Praise God!
I would tear up every time I mentioned my parents.
On the surface, I live like a normal person. People always see me with a smiling face. Deep down, friends who know me well know all about my inner struggles with my family. A few years back, I came to Jesus with the hope of restoring my unhealthy family relationships. I prayed and meditated on God’s Word.
Every time I came across Ephesians 6:1-3, which says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honour your father and mother” – which is the first commandment with a promise – “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth“”, one question always popped up in my head. How can I honour my parents if they are so difficult to love?
My parents have very different habits.
One is quiet, reserved, organised, and very keen on keeping things hygienic. The other is more outspoken, outgoing, and pays less attention to details. Growing up, I remember my parents always had confrontations because of these differences. These intensified after my father was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis about ten years ago and could no longer work.
Taking care of my father at home brought my mother a lot of pressure and physical tiredness. She lashes out in anger frequently. Most of the time, I would try to stop them from arguing but would eventually end up fighting too. The accumulated tensions at home made me feel irritated the minute I stepped into our apartment.
On many occasions, I became the one initiating the quarrels.
The frustration I felt after each fight greatly affected my mood at work and socially.
Thank God that He is always faithful. He placed two sisters-in-Christ in my life. One shared her powerful testimony of how she was transformed after a renewal prayer. The other one invited me to the “Love the Lord” discipleship course, which is a prerequisite for a renewal prayer session.
Before my own renewal prayer session, I had to go through a detailed questionnaire asking a lot of questions about my past and present life. It was a painful process figuring out the answers.
I struggled to remember most of my past incidents and truly understand myself.
During this period, I become volatile and could not control my emotions. Late one night, I started a physical fight with my mother that I felt very guilty about and began to feel discouraged from going through with my renewal prayer. I knew it was the devil’s schemes at work, so I prayed and fasted to ask God for help. Miraculously, God revealed to me afterward that my mother actually loves me very much, just like He does. It is just that she has chosen a very different way of expressing her love from what I expected.
With regards to the actual prayer session itself, there are several parts I want to highlight. When the prayer counsellors asked me to recall the details of my biggest quarrel with my parents in the past, my brain went blank.
I came to realise that we always argued about trivial matters.
The prayer counsellors also asked me to describe my feelings every time I started arguing with my parents. I told them that my heart was always in flames and I had no clue why. God then spoke to me via one of the counsellors.
My behaviour was rooted in the fact that I wanted things to go my way.
I was trying to control situations or other people, and became rigid and closed. By His grace, God showed me that if I wanted to find true satisfaction, I had to let go. I was reminded that I only need to be still and surrender and let God handle the rest.
I had been holding on too tightly to my own ways of thinking. By doing this, I replaced God’s role as the Judge of other people. This is contrary to 1 Corinthians 4:5, which says, “Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.”
Another part of my session was about forgiving my parents.
Forgiving my parents is still difficult for me because I have yet to identify, fully feel, express, and release my anger and pain.
But I am truly aware that unforgiveness is incredibly costly so I will continue to work on this area by living out of love for God and others. Both before and during the prayer session, God brought the first two commandments to me twice, once through scripture reading and the other time through my prayer counsellors. I was reminded that Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39).
I have come to understand that with God, everything is about relationship!
At its heart, spirituality is about loving God and loving one another. Virtually nothing grieves God’s Spirit or blocks prayers like ignoring broken or damaged relationships. For this reason, it is vital that I continually confess and put away all relationship sins.
My verbal arguments with my family have not died down completely and I know I cannot give up. I understand that if I am going to do anything meaningful for the Lord, I am going to experience spiritual warfare, even in my family relationships. Satan will tempt me to look at the problems of people, instead of the promises of God.
Therefore, I will have to purposely and deliberately put on the full armor of God from time to time. And when I do this, I am showing my enemy that I am ready to stand against any tricks, schemes, or deception that he tries to bring my way through the power of Jesus Christ.
Most important of all, I know Jesus has already defeated the darkness and given me the victory.
My part is to claim the victory by simply standing my ground. In other words, I don’t need to fight for victory but simply need to stand in the battle with Jesus by my side guiding me.
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