in the shadows of my heart.
the past few weeks have been interesting. the highs and lows are beginning to give me the worst motion sickness. i don't know how much longer i can sit on this ride. this chaotic, beautiful, unpredictable ride. yesterday i heard a message that really rocked my world. it was one that i needed to hear and one i wouldn't trade for anything. it was about love and forgiveness and grace. it was also about anger, contempt, and murder.
|taken from pinterest|
for the past few weeks i've been hiding all of these thoughts and emotions in the shadows of my heart, where only God can see them. recently, they've started to venture out into the light and i did not like it one bit! i began to get irritable, anxious, and sad. i was confused why things were happening the way they were and wondered what i could have possibly done to get myself into this mess. i started blaming people and crying a lot and just not wanting to get out of bed. out of no where, life had gotten hard.
forgiveness is hard too, even though Jesus asks it of us and set the ultimate example. holding a grudge, or even letting the issue go unresolved and not addressing it can seem easy at the time, but that wound will start to hurt more and more until it is infected. not a pretty picture. in fact, the longer you hold on to the hurt and anger and pain, the more lonely you'll start to feel and bitterness will start to make your heart it's home. who wants grumpy old bitterness living in them? i sure don't and i can tell that it has started to move in. no thanks!
the speaker yesterday said a few points that i would love to share with you all. he reminded us that out of anger breeds contempt, and from that family stems, bitterness, rage, and murder. who wants to have a lifestyle like a murderer? i sure don't. in addition he said that we as christians need to remember that the grace of God is for all of us. when you make the person you're angry with "the enemy" you start to rejoice in their trials and forget that they too are a creation in God's image. they too have been handcrafted by the same God that you worship. they too have passions and dreams and goals and struggles just like everyone else. do not forget that they are humans too. put the anger and bitterness aside and forgive. sometimes forgiveness and love are scary. what if they reject you or what if they want nothing to do with you after a complete screaming match?
|taken from pinterest|
1 Peter 4:8 says, "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."
love each other deeply. yes, you've been hurt and you've been made fun of and you've been lied to and you've been treated in the worst way, but Jesus was also treated in these ways. he set the perfect example for us on how to love our enemies. when we love our enemies they don't stay enemies anymore. instead they're just people who made mistakes and hurt you. whether they're remorseful or not, it is our duty to walk and act as Jesus did: in love and forgiveness.
Reconciliation is a process. Sometimes a very long and painful one, but right relationships are more important than worship. Love means you'll forgive. It doesn't mean you have to act like it didn't hurt, because it did. A lot. You don't focus on how they failed you, but choose to be kind and love them. We love because He first loved us, and we are to love people for where they're at and not where we think they should be. This does not excuse the behavior, contempt, and anger, but love will wash it all away when forgiveness is given.
something that i plan to do is just sit back and assess all these feelings and conflicts that i've been having. is it necessary for me to get all worked up over something that i cannot control? no. is it necessary for me to lose sleep and tears and concentration because i am so focused on trying to be in the right? no. forgiveness is a long process at times, but it is possible. do you have to expect things to be back to normal with that friend, family member, or classmate? no. but at least treat them like a human being and be happy for them in their times of blessing, pray for them when you hear about a hardship, and be polite when you're together. there is no need to make others feel awkward or to make a situation unpleasant because you happen to be hanging out with anger and bitterness. extend grace and forgiveness. show love to your friends and to those who have wronged you. give the issues to God and look at your own heart before you try and figure out who is at fault. give it to God and learn:
grace upon grace upon grace.
Show forgiveness to others just as quickly as you lap it up from the hands of Christ.