Let It Go

Let It Go

Forgiveness has been an issue for me. I want it when I’ve done something wrong, but when someone hurts me, I’m not as eager to let it go. I may act like I’ve forgiven you, or even believe that I have, but it’s the letting go part I need to work on…

I harbor resentment. I think that is a protective mechanism we all share. It has been said, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

We don’t like to be hurt by others because, well, it  hurts. Pain is something we are programmed to avoid. That make sense to our physical selves. We are careful when handling hot items, or going down stairs, to prevent physical injury, but when we are hurt by another’s actions or words, that pain isn’t as evident. We might pretend we weren’t hurt, but those wounds affect our heart, and that’s when the internal battle begins.

Satan would love nothing more than to convince us that the person who hurt us, doesn’t deserve our forgiveness. He will feed us lies and tell us we are somehow better than they are. He wants us to point the finger at others and forget to look at our own faults. We become arrogant and forget about grace.

God’s grace….

It is because of grace that we have been set free. The gift of grace is an unmerited favor bestowed upon us when Jesus died for our sins. Our sins, not just my sins. None of us are perfect and none of us deserve forgiveness. We could never earn our salvation. It is only because of Jesus’s blood and sacrifice that our sins are forgiven.

In the movie, The Shack,  the main character, Mack, struggles with forgiveness. Forgiveness for the way his father abused him as a child, and forgiveness for the murderer who killed his little girl. The Holy Spirit shows him what it looks like from God’s perspective by asking him to choose between his two remaining children, who would be saved and who would be condemned to hell. Mack can’t do this, and his answer was, “Take me instead! I will take their place.”

Convicted.

I would never promote allowing ourselves to be continually hurt by another person. That is abuse, and we do need to protect ourselves from that. I am saying, however, that there may be more behind why others hurt us.  They may have built a wall of protection around their own fragile heart. Therefore they may lash out and hurt us, to keep from being hurt.

I am a work in progress. I struggle with letting go; letting go of resentment when someone hurts my feelings. I know I am super-sensitive, but I am trying to see others through the eyes of Jesus, and to not stand on the throne of condemnation.

2 Peter tells us that, “God is not willing that anyone should perish, but that all come to repentance.”

If I had one thing to share with the world, it would be to forgive; and then, let it go. Do not harbor resentment. I believe if the world forgave each other daily, the way Jesus does, all of our conflicts would dissolve. There is nothing more refreshing than to know someone has forgiven you when you’ve hurt them, or when you don’t deserve it. When someone withholds forgiveness from you, it plants bitterness in both parties. These roots grow deep and strong, causing division, and hinders any spiritual growth.

Colossians 3: 12-13

“Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” 
Lord, I ask that you give me your heart and your eyes, so that I would be more forgiving, so that others would know, through me, your great love. I ask that I would let go of resentments and let your peace wash over me. Help me to let it go….. all of it. Amen.

 

Listen to Him!

Listen to Him!

I woke up this morning thinking about that funny, viral video on You Tube where a little boy named Mateo is arguing with his mom saying, “Listen Linda, listen…” (You’ve probably all seen it and know what I’m talking about, but in case you haven’t, click here to make your day better!) I wondered why in the world I woke up thinking about that, but I made a mental note to call my friend Linda because we are way overdue for a lunch date.

I then went downstairs for a cup of coffee and to say goodbye to my husband before he left for work. We were chatting about a few things and as I began to reply to a question he asked me, he interrupted me mid-sentence, already assuming he knew what I was going to say. I stopped and said, “That’s not what I was going to say at all; can you please just listen to me?”

Yesterday, I noticed a friend often starts her conversation with, “Hey listen….” She has been doing this as long as I can remember, it’s like her thing and I love it, but suddenly I was made keenly aware of it.

We are collectively, as a church, participating in a 31 day devotional titled, Be Still and Know That I Am God.

be still

This morning, the scripture reference was from Matthew 17: 1-7. It is the story of The Transfiguration:

Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.”

I’ve heard so many times the scripture quoted, “This is my beloved son with whom I am well-pleased;”  However today, I immediately noticed the semicolon following God’s statement, and then God continued, “listen to Him!”  God wasn’t finished speaking. He certainly got the disciple’s attention! It says that the disciples were terrified. I would imagine that it is extremely terrifying when God himself tells you to listen!

Sometimes, when my kids aren’t listening to me, my husband may intervene with a bigger, scarier voice. It works! Daddy’s voice is strong, firm and demands instant attention.

Peter asks Jesus if he should build three tabernacles to commemorate this holy occasion and sacred place, when God interrupts him. Jesus is trying to show the three disciples something  – something amazing – and they were missing the point. Peter felt he needed to do something, but God wanted them to just listen to Jesus and understand what he was showing them through his transfiguration.

I have so much to learn from God. I’m always trying to figure out what God wants me to do, but all I need to actually do is be still and listen, so I can hear what He has to say.

As I meditate on the scripture, I am definitely receiving the word, ‘listen’ this morning.

Lord, help me to listen intently so I don’t miss the point. Thank you for getting my attention today. Help me to be still so I can hear what you have to say. Thank you for your word which is always perfect and timely.  Amen.