by Larincia Hambrick
A few years ago, we were house shopping and in the market to purchase a new home. We were so excited! Although my husband and I had been married awhile and started our family, this was the first time we had been house shopping together. As Realtor.com and Zillow junkies, we knew if we saw a house on the market that we liked, we had better move quickly, or it would be gone. We had just relocated to St. Louis and lived in my childhood home. That was a blessing, because we were able to save money for a down payment; however, it was not in the best neighborhood, so our goal was to find something quickly. On Sundays after church, we would load up the kids, pack their snacks, and tour as many open houses as we could.
The moment came when we thought we’d found the one. The house was absolutely stunning! It had recently been updated, and the smell of fresh paint filled every room. The kitchen had large cabinets and a center island. Each room on the first floor from the dining area to the living room, kitchen, and family room were encapsulated all around with big, beautiful windows where natural light filled the rooms to create an open and airy ambiance.
We decided to put an offer on the home and to get an inspection.
As a woman, I could already visualize where our furniture would be placed and the family meals we’d be eating together, but as the inspector looked closely at the house, he noted several major things wrong that a person with an untrained eye could not see or know to look for at first glance.
The house had evidence of untreated termite damage. The chimney needed to be repaired and the bricks needed to be tuck-pointed, and most of the beautiful windows were missing the springs made to hold them in place when you raised them. The basement was not waterproof, had cracks in the walls, and leaked water in from three sides of the house, which would cause the basement to flood. The inspector also found black mold behind bathroom walls...and the list goes on.
The laundry list of issues with this house was unbelievable, because it was aesthetically beautiful. The necessary repairs would be thousands of dollars, and we didn’t have thousands of dollars to sink into a house, so we backed out of the contract.
Often, it is the same with us. We look absolutely stunning on the outside, yet on the inside, we have cracks in our soul and are wreaking of bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness.
During the inspection, the inspector called me into the master bathroom. He pushed the bathtub stopper down, turned the water on, and filled the bathtub with water. He then pulled the stopper back up to see how quickly the water would drain to empty the bathtub. He discovered something was clogging the drain because the water drained very slowly. This is exactly what happens in the spirit realm when we harbor unforgiveness; our hearts get clogged. It’s hard to hear from God, experience His presence, have viable relationships with others, or even love ourselves properly when we fail to forgive.
There’s no doubt about it, ministry is messy. Our hearts get clogged, and sometimes our experience with just a handful of people can taint our relationships with others we need to let in. As women in ministry, we should be compelled to extend grace, because God has graciously extended it to us. In Matthew 18:22 ESV, Peter asked Jesus how often he should forgive his brother. He wanted to know a specific number, so Peter inquired further and said, "Should I just forgive him seven times?” Jesus responded and said, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.” The Lord was trying to show Peter that forgiveness is limitless; it knows no bounds. If you can count the number of times you have forgiven someone, then you haven’t forgiven enough.
We all have moments we struggle with forgiveness. That’s the reason Jesus talked about it so much in the gospels. The Lord never made forgiveness a conditional act. He doesn’t tell us to forgive if this or if that. The Word declares we must forgive others for their trespasses against us. Forgiveness should be granted without condition and limitation. We constantly need to be forgiven, and we constantly need to extend forgiveness to others. Luke 6:37 ESV says, “Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
Lord, I choose to forgive and release
I forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made.
I receive your grace and forgiveness.
In Jesus Name. Amen.
Larincia holds a B.A. from Kentucky State University, an M.B.A from Indiana Wesleyan University, an A.A. from Valor Christian College and is an ordained minister of the Southern Missouri Ministry Network. She serves as the CFO of WEMA Logistics and is passionate about impacting her community. Larincia is a dynamic speaker, and is the founder of Destined to Reign Ministries, I Am Destined to Reign Boutique, the author of I Am Destined to Reign: Ditch the Baggage, Discover Your Identity & Walk in Royalty and a new devotional book entitled Gratitude in the Journey. Larincia is the proud wife to Hervera Hambrick, Life Groups Pastor at Twin Rivers Church in St. Louis, MO, and is the mom of two amazing boys--Josiah & Gabriel. When she isn't working, you can find her decorating, inviting people over for dinner, reading, or traveling.
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