January 31, 2011
Ice Ice Baby
We've got lots of ice today and we're expected to get four to six inches of snow too. Fiona was up last night throwing up and coughing up a storm so I kept her home in spite of the slick roads. It is super slick out there so be careful!
What have I been doing today? I have been doing lots and lots of reading. Below is a listing of some of the highlights from the current chapter. I thank God every single day of my life for giving me the wisdom to realize that I will never ever be done learning new things. I'm so thankful that God is willing to make this journey with me.
Our only refuge is in God's grace and mercy.
You don't have to feel forgiveness in order to say you forgive someone. Forgiveness is something you do out of obedience to the Lord because He has forgiven you. You have to be able to say, "God, I confess hatred for my [BLANK], and I ask your forgiveness. I forgive her for everything she did to me. I forgive her for not loving me, and I release her into your hands."
The most important thing to remember when it comes to forgiveness is that forgiveness doesn't make the other person right, it makes you free. The best way to turn anger, bitterness, hatred, and resentment for someone into love is to pray for that person. God softens your heart when you do and brings wholeness into your life.
The Bible is filled with countless lessons on forgiveness, like those I just mentioned, and yet I know how difficult this step can be.
Some of you may say, "Okay, I get what you're saying, but I dealt with all that stuff years ago, I don't want to dredge it all up again. Been there, done that."
Amen to that! I know exactly what you mean. Praise God if you've already visited the places in your heart and soul that needed repair, asking and giving forgiveness in all areas including forgiving yourself. There is no need to relive the sins of our past OVER and OVER. Once forgiven, always forgiven--that is the power of God's love for us.
However, looking at forgiveness in conjunction with our enabling and how it related to healing is a decidedly different perspective, requiring a new thought process and skill set.
We must forgive them for what they have done to us, even if they don't ask us for forgiveness. God's Word says, "Forgive, and you will be forgiven" (Luke 6:37). That verse also says that we shouldn't judge if we don't want to be judged ourselves. Instead, we are to release people and circumstances to God and let him be the judge. When we forgive people who have hurt us, we restore their God-given worth and value--not because they deserve it but because God has already done the same for us.
Forgiveness on so many levels is key, and then we must move on and not live in the past.
The self-esteem movement has told us that any troubles we experience must be due to someone else...that we are all victims, rather than fact the truth that there are always consequences of our choices...good and bad.
Forgiveness takes one; reconciliation takes two.
We do not open ourselves up to the other party until we have seen that she has truly owned her part of the problem. So many times Scripture talks about keeping boundaries with someone until she owns what she has done and produces "fruit in keeping with repentance" (Matt. 3:8). True repentance is much more than saying "I'm sorry"; it is changing direction.
It's not your fault how I choose to feel. My choices are my responsibility just as your choices are your responsibility.
What else am I working on today?
Laundry, cleaning, blogging, reading, folding, the usual...at some point I plan to have some treadmill time too.