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.
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.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”
Our past has taught us so many lessons. God expects us to use them to move forward. The hurts we carry open us to more understanding. Use them to help others.
Prayer: Gracious God, help us to share the pains we have experienced so that others can feel our openness and our love. AMEN
Out of pain and problems have come the sweetest songs, and the most gripping stories.
When you read the Bible you discover that the stories are about problems. If there is no trial there is no story. We all suffer pain of some kind. Life is not free of pain but if we are careful we can learn from the pain and use it to help someone else. Each person’s story in the Bible is there for a reason…so that we can learn from it. We can also learn from our own stories and those around us.
Loving God, you can us many stories in the Bible to learn from. Help us learn from our own and the ones we hear each day. AMEN
Today has not been a good day. I have lost an important keepsake. These things happen to us. Not everything is good. The thing is when we have these days God is there to hold us and cry with us. He will join us in our sorrow and bring us peace.
Caring God, you will be with us when we have bad days. You will wipe away our tears. We thank you. AMEN
We are always on the anvil: by trials God is shaping us for higher things. —-Henry Ward Beecher
God is busy shaping us into the best that we can be. Sometimes we forget that growing can bring pain. Pottery is fired in a kiln to make the beautiful vase that we see. Life may not be easy but God has promised to be with us.
Loving God, help us though the tough thing in life and remind us that we can use them to your service. AMEN
My favorite author, Madeleine L’Engle says: “Comparisons are odious.” This works in several different ways. Do we spend time comparing ourselves to others and falling short? Do we compare to prove that we are better than. Comparisons hurt. It hurts us if we end up feeling unworthy. It hurts us in a different way if we see ourselves as better than others. In this country our founding fathers said the “all men (women also) were created equal and endowed with their creator certain inalienable rights…..etc.
Lear not to make comparisons. They hurt no matter what.
Creating God, you planned for to stay away from comparisons. You know their power to create pain. Help us to see all mankind as equal. AMEN
It is so easy to be caught in the depths of despair. It may be that we have lost someone we love, been fired from a job, gotten a terrible diagnosis or many other things. When we are down in the “valley of the shadow of death” it is easy to lose our way. We can’t see any light at all. However, there is always light. God is with us even when we can’t see it. We can hold on and know that his love is conquering the darkness and there will be light we can see.
Loving God, you have promised to be with us no matter what. Help us to trust that you are holding the light for us and we will see. AMEN
Technology gives us power, but it does not and cannot tell us how to use that power. Thanks to technology, we can instantly communicate across the world, but it still doesn’t help us know what to say. Jonathan Sacks
We have so much ability to communicate with each other and the world. The question is are we careful with out words. As children we said “stick and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.” That is about as far from the truth as we can get. It has been evident that electronic bullies have caused suicides.
We must be careful with our words. Kindness should be part of who we are as Christians. Something said as gossip may not only be wrong but very hurtful. Think about your words before you say them.
Loving God, help us to speak only out of kindness. Remind us to be careful about repeating gossip. Let us be kind Christians. AMEN