One of the hardest virtues to come by a believer is the ability to forgive. It’s really hard because we feel that we are being owed, and the people that have hurt us “must pay” for their wrong doings. There’s a pint of justification to this, yes, but to what end?
Would their “repaying” you, restore your wholeness? What if they are even clueless at to what the wrong is?
Let’s find out from Joyer Meyer.
Joyce Meyer grew up to a life people only see in movies; the kind of life you hear about and you shudder.
She was born Pauline Joyce Hutchison in South St. Louis in 1943. Her father had gone into the army to fight in World War II soon after she was born. He didn’t come back as the same “ daddy” that welcomed her to the world. On his return, her life changed forever.
Her father, who was supposed to care for, love and protect her, began abusing her sexually. Worse still was her mother who said nothing about it. This went on until she was old enough to leave the house which she sure did as soon as she got the chance.
She had, through pretense, carried on a normal life in public, even though she was withdrawn and said little; nobody knew what she was going through.
Joyce Meyer had received Christ at age 9, but didn’t understand much about Christianity as she didn’t go to church much. How could she receive the righteousness that she had in Christ when the everyday occurrences in her home convinced her that she was filthy and even unfit for society. All she wanted was to leave home as soon as it was possible.
Shortly after her senior year in school, Joyce got married. She had taken the first available escape from her father, but alas, her husband wasn’t much better. He abused her, made her do things she knew were wrong, and also bullied her.
In spite of being bullied and abused, Joyce still had strength deep within herself, she drew from this strength to push forward even after getting a divorce from her five year marriage.
Joyce knew deep within herself that she was meant for more, she knew she had to get closer to God, her heart continually yearned for God and even though she wasn’t living her life as she should, she never lost sight of Christ. As much as she didn’t seem to know much at the time, she never forgot God’s love for her.
After her divorce, she would visit local bars, and drink alcohol in a bid to clear her sorrows. In spite of all these, she would still speak to God in her quiet time and ask him to help her.
She eventually met Dave Meyer and they were married in 1967. But as you can imagine, marrying a good Christian was not all that was needed to solve her problems.
According to her,
“Even though I started attending church frequently and even became a worker, I was still bitter about what had happened to me in the past. I had a chip on my shoulder, which caused me to have this attitude that everyone owed me.” tweet
Joyce was full of self-pity, and easily got sad, especially if things didn’t go her way. She was fearful, insecure, harsh and just plain hard to get along with. She says she experienced a lot of guilt and condemnation.
Even though she knew God loved her, she felt she still needed to validate herself as good now and no longer dirty (of course she didn’t need to, God loved her the way she was). She was trying her best to do everything right, but for the wrong reasons; she didn’t like who she was. Hence she spent many years trying to be like someone else.
In 1976, Joyce got filled with of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues, and things began to change. She began to have a better understanding of God’s love and God’s word. She came to see how her old self was gone and how she was a new person in Christ.
She realized that her past was inconsequential in determining who she was. She was finally free from guilt, and free from the obligation to correct her past because now that past didn’t exist anymore, at least not with God.
Along with her new found freedom came the ability to forgive completely. She was so full of love that she was bursting with it and had to share it.
Soon, she began to lead an early morning bible study in a cafeteria, and before she knew it, she was airing a daily 15 minute broadcast on radio. In 1985, Joyce Meyer founded her own ministry and it has continued to grow till date helping several people move from hurt to seeing the pure love of Christ.
Even though Joyce had forgiven her father completely, he still felt he had done nothing wrong.
In 2000, when he fell sick and she had gone to visit him in the hospital, he had told her he was sorry she felt hurt but he still didn’t know what he did wrong. This had broken her heart deeply and made her feel so sorry for him.
After leaving the hospital, God told her to move her dying father to her house and care for him. She was able to obey because she had forgiven him. Then one day out of the blue, he asked for Joyce and her husband Dave’s forgiveness, he had realized his wrong; he was sorry.
In that moment he was all broken and in tears, Joyce knew the right thing to do; she led him to Christ! And on his insistence, she baptized him on 2nd December, 2001 in front of hundreds of onlookers. It took a heart that was totally sold out to Christ to do that.
Joyce Meyer is our Woman Crush today because her life is an epitome of the reality of forgiveness, the power of God’s love, the renewing power of salvation and much more.
Joyce was able to move from feeling condemned to helping others out of condemnation, from seeking “repayment” to helping “debtors” out of their debts, and from seeking love to helping others find love.
Although, it’s surely one of the hardest virtue, the act of forgiveness in the life of a believer is a demonstration in response to the forgiveness he/she has received, for free; Jesus Christ being the down payment. Forgiveness is thorough and complete, both when we receive it from our Savior and when we give it to fellow human beings (we give what we have received). Why not, then, share this free gift, even with the most unlikely people.
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