One who forgives an affront fosters friendship, but one who dwells on disputes will alienate a friend.
Proverbs 17:9 NRSV
When we are hurt it can be so difficult to forgive. We often nurse the hurt so that we can carry it with us. That only hurts us as well as the other person. We can’t continue to dwell on hurts but have to let them go. Doing so opens the chance for understanding and friendship.
In order to get the most from our faith we have to dive in. Like Alice we need to jump down the rabbit hole. Immersed in scripture and fellowship with other Christians we can plumb the depths of God’s plan for us.
Down the rabbit hole can be a scary place and jumping down can feel like letting go of everything that feels safe but it is the way to draw closer to God. Take that leap.
I really think this section of Romans says it all. We don’t need to add to it …just follow it.
Marks of the True Christian
9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 1
The person who looks up to God rarely looks down on anyone. from God is in the Small Stuff by Bruce and Stan
We are all equal in God’s eyes. Equally loved. That doesn’t mean that because we believe in God or go to church that we are more equal than others. Equal means equal. Thinking that we are better than someone else is not how God sees it. Looking down on someone because they have less money or better clothes or a better education is not how God expects us to be.
Remember, in God’s eyes there are no “better thans.”
Save us, Jesus, from hurrying away,
because we do not wish to help,
because we know not how to help,
because we dare not.
Inspire us to use our lives serving one another. From the New Zealand Prayer Book
It is so easy to pass by…to keep on our path… to not stop. We convince ourselves there is not time, or money, or willingness to help. Deviating from our normal day is not easy but sometimes it is important. Sometimes there is a friend who just needs to be listened to, or bought a cola, or offered a ride. Sometimes the littlest things can make a big difference.
Don’t hurry away, stop and help.
God has plans for us. these plans include us having a better understanding of how we should live. Telling us has not worked so God decides to SHOW us. He leaves heaven to become a man…a man who lives the life that we need to live. He did this for us. Now we need to follow that man in everything that we do.
Someone once said to my husband that Jesus was a conservative. My husband’s response was “he was so conservative that he got himself killed.” If we pay attention to the ministry of Christ he was radical. He went against the mores of his day in so many ways. He ate with tax collectors, acknowledged women, healed lepers and preached love for all humankind. If we could live as he did it would be a revolution. Prepare by pondering on this.
I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall ever be in my mouth.
How often do we stop to praise and thank God. If we go to church we do praise Him there but do we really think about it or is it just habit. Have you ever lifted up your hands in praise to God. Just the lifting of our hands is focusing our hearts and our bodies on God. Some churches are comfortable with this…some not but we can do it at home. Praise God every day!
Prayer: Gracious Lord, you are worthy to be praise with glad voices. We bless and praise your name. We are grateful for you love and compassion. Be with us each day of our lives. AMEN
We cannot embrace God’s forgiveness if we are so busy clinging to past wounds and nursing old grudges.
T. D. Jakes
It is so easy to hold onto grudges and past hurts. We can actually enjoy chewing over the hurt and savoring our pain. We can think back and relive the emotions and it gives us a kind of satisfaction.
This kind of thinking is toxic. The only person being harmed by it is us. God has promised us forgiveness of our own mistakes. How can we approach him with these thoughts foremost in our minds. To heal ourselves we must let go of hurtful memories and discard grudges. That healing will bring us to God ready for forgiveness.
I have been doing intercessory prayer for many years. Some times I really feel the anguish of those on my list. At other time I feel as if I am just reciting names. I am sure that God hears every name and I am forgiven for my lack of attention but I can sense the difference when I am present in their pain. I love this statement from Br. Geoffrey
|Intercession True intercession, the sort that Jesus shares with the Father, is not just a detached impassioned shopping list of the needs of the world, nor is it informing God of something God knows already. Rather, it is a profound, loving, and costly holding up of others who are on our hearts before God. True intercession is being with God, with the people on our hearts.
-Br. Geoffrey Tristram
Society of Saint John the Evangelist