Saturday, December 27, 2008

What do you expect?

Dad preached a great sermon Wednesday night. He preached about making room for Jesus. Something he merely mentioned really was a revelation to me. He said we can't expect the world to act like Christians... they are without Christ. We can't expect much more out of them than what we are seeing. Especially when most Christians don't even act like Christians.
I get so frustrated with the way people are sometimes and I think it affects my compassion. But what else do I expect from people without Christ? The only good that is in me is of Him and they don't have Him. If I don't like the way they are, instead of getting angry with them and frustrated, maybe I should be giving them the gospel to try to help them.
Just a short thought today. Meditate on that. I'm gonna try to.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

An ending of bitterness

“Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.” Lewis B. Smedes

Forgiving may be simple enough for some but for me the hard part is forgetting. Have you really forgiven someone if thinking of them or what they did still makes you angry? That's a scary question.
I have a really good memory and I can remember details very well. It's a blessing in many room mate gets aggravated because all I have to do is read over something a little bit the night before (or in some cases- the morning of) a test and I make an 'A'. I tell her over and over though that it has nothing to do with intelligence. I just have a good memory.
But... In some instances it is a curse to have such a good memory. I can remember specific things very vividly that I so wish to forget. I sometimes remember specific mistakes that I made and those detailed memories pop into my head at the strangest times. But more haunting I think is the fact that I have a hard time forgetting how other people have hurt me.
There have been several instances this year that have caused me to come to grips with this reality.
1. I "fell in love" and got hurt. He wasn't what I thought he was.
2. I came to realize that several of my "friends" were not what I thought they were and believe it or not it does hurt to realize that.
3. I had one specific "friend" stab me in the back and do things that she knew would hurt me.
4. It hurts to watch people that you care (or cared) so much about turn from God and go down a different road. And, at least in my case, it does make me angry to think that they knew better.
5. Then there are things that didn't even happen to me. My best friend had a major heartbreak last year. Just the thought of who did it makes me angry. How someone could be so heartless is beyond me.
6. Certain people have lied to or about my family and other families who are close to mine.

There are many things that I could stay hurt about. I have said before that I forgive them's my confession... When I think of them it still makes me angry sometimes and to be totally honest I just wanna.... I dunno, Hit them in the face or something.... just being honest. All of those situations and more have turned me into quite the skeptic of people and their motives and intentions. I don't want to live in bitterness or be angry at them forever. So the best thing to do is forget about it, right? So... how do I do that?

Well, I think maybe it comes simply through prayer. Asking God to take away those hateful feelings of anger and bitterness. Asking Him to give you love for those people who have hurt or wronged you. Asking Him to help you forget about those things.
It will probably also require a certain amount of self discipline. You have to train yourself to not dwell on those things. You have to make yourself pray for them which despitefully use you.
It will go a long way in helping your self discipline to remember how much you have been forgiven. The Lord has forgiven me for so many things. How can we dare to hold a grudge.
These are all things that I am telling myself.
I think, or I hope, that today marks the beginning of "Letting it go" for me. Do any of these things really matter? In a couple years I will look back and think "how silly was I?" And as for those things that cut a little deeper, I will just pray and ask the Lord to help me to truly forgive... and FORGET, or as my quote says - remember it in a different light.
"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward."-- Author Unknown
"Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head."-- Ann Landers
"Let go. Why do you cling to pain? There is nothing you can do about the wrongs of yesterday. It is not yours to judge."Leo Buscaglia
“There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.”
"By forgetting the past and by throwing myself into other interests, I forget to worry.”