This article is part of the Camp Meeting Special Edition GSC Today,
read the rest of the magazine here. 

It was my first church as a young pastor, and I was excited to make a difference for the kingdom of God. There was only one thing standing in my way, the church treasurer. At our first church board meeting, they voted to get me a new computer for the church office. “Awesome,” I thought, “This team of leaders sees to it that we have what we need to be successful.” The problem, however, was realized AFTER I purchased the computer. I took the receipt to the treasurer (who was absent at the board meeting), and he refused to reimburse me.  

This was the beginning of a two-year struggle with this man. I would pray and pray for his heart to change but at every opportunity, he would make life difficult for me. I knew that as a Christian I should not feel the way I did about anyone, but I honestly despised him and the anger simmered inside of me. But I continued to pray for him and myself.

About two years into this struggle my office door opened one day and in walked the source of my frustration. He sat down and told me that he was resigning from the treasurer position. This was a huge deal because his mom had been treasurer before him and his uncle before that. I gladly accepted his resignation and told him that I would communicate this to the church board.

And then the Holy Spirit prompted me to ask the question I didn’t want to ask. I had his resignation; it was what I had been praying for, no more resistance, no more negative words, no more frustration. I wanted him to leave my office now. My humanity didn’t care if I ever saw him again. But instead, I asked, “Why the resignation?”  

He began to cry and explain to me that he was trapped in an awful ongoing sin that he could not seem to overcome. At that moment, all of my anger and frustration with this man disappeared. I saw him not as the enemy but a brother struggling with life as we all do. I listened as he poured out his pain, and then we prayed, and forgiveness flooded our hearts.

I’m happy to say that this man overcame in Jesus the sin that entrapped him. I’m happy to say that this man became one my greatest supporters. And I’m happy to say that to this day he will still reach out to me as a friend. That is the power of forgiveness.