It is not impossible to forgive someone.
The only way we can is because God has wired us for it.
After recognizing this, the next step is to realize that you do things wrong, too. When we understand and accept this fact we are more willing to forgive.
See, the problem is we don’t think we’re that bad. Or, we would never do what so-and-so did.
If we would see we’re all broken – all on an equal playing field – this paradigm would make us think differently. The Bible states to break one commandment is to break them all. In God’s world, sin is sin.
It’s alright to be hurt. If you want to forgive, God will help you. Otherwise you will become bitter. And that will hurt even worse.
Ever have someone say awful things about you behind your back? Or do awful things behind your back?
A place we don’t expect this to happen is in our church, but it does.
You may have been told “there is no perfect church” in order to frame the situation for you.
You may have seen your situation minimized as you, the victim, are expected to forgive – while the perpetrator continues their devices.
More may be expected from you.
Backwards, isn’t it? Sometimes it seems as if political correctness has infiltrated our churches.
It is true there is no perfect church.
It is true you must forgive (more on this Friday).
It is not true you aren’t allowed the space to be hurt. Sometimes the table is turned on the victim. Why?
But there is no perfect church.
If you have the pleasure of living where there are 4 seasons (as defined by the clear observation of buds, green leaves, colored leaves, no leaves), then you really understand the end of one season and the beginning of another.
Don’t get me wrong southern friends – it’s just that your seasons aren’t so obvious. Although, I’ve been told some southern states have primarily 2 seasons: hot and rainy.
Either way, looking at life as seasons really helps when you’re hurting.
Some seasons feel very long. In some northern states, winter seems to hang on. Sometimes I think us Northerners have a bit of an edge over the Southerners since we really know what the hope of spring means. Months of cold, gray skies makes you long for warm sunshine.
Listen. There’s some pretty awful heartache out there. And your pain may be feel like winter in the North; never-ending. But I promise you that spring will come again.
So for now, it’s okay to hunker down.
A four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman had recently lost his wife.
Upon seeing the man cry , the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard , climbed onto his lap , and just sat there.
When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor , the little boy said ,
‘Nothing , I just helped him cry’
I once leaned toward the word-of-faith camp.
There are varying degrees in this camp. On a scale of 1-10, I was an 8.
In other words, I didn’t believe for a new car, house, or $500,000.
There are many in this Christian camp who are disillusioned.
I have learned there is pain and suffering in this life. You can’t throw a scripture at it. You can’t pray it away.
You can, however, allow the scripture to strengthen you and talk (pray) to God and tell Him how it hurts.
God didn’t supply mankind with happiness, beauty, and successes – and leave us dangling when there is sorrow, ugliness, and failure.
No, He figured that into the equation when He designed the world.
Some say God is not fair, He’s just.
I say He’s fair.
Sometimes it feels like your situation will overtake you …
… but have you thought about the immensity of the earth and 2/3 is covered by water?
And yet it does not overtake the land.
How much more important are you?
God is fully aware of your situation.
Being ignored hurts.
Whether it is being passed over for a promotion or pay raise, unnoticed in a social setting, or rejected by family or classmates – it’s painful. Not only is it awkward, but you feel like there is something wrong with you.
But then there is that one kind person who notices and reaches out.
I remember my first grade teacher embarrassing me in front of the whole class (teachers have a lot of influence in those developmental years). I had always felt like a candle in the wind – never knowing who to cling to – like the song goes. But then came my fourth grade teacher who adored me. No one had ever treated me so wonderfully.
It changed my whole perception.
People can be cruel. Sometimes it’s unintentional. But if we were intentional in caring about others it would not happen. Unfortunately, we cannot prevent it. But what we can do is treat others the way we would like to be treated, despite what kind of treatment we’ve received.
From now on, you be that person that reaches out. It will make you feel so much better to give!
We’ve all been a victim of pain. But we have a choice – whether we will remain a victim or not.
Staying a victim leads to self-pity. You can lick your wounds for years and never get off square one. Why bring further suffering upon yourself? Everyone else is moving on and enjoying life. And you .. are in misery.
There is a time for being the victim.
Then there is a time for moving on.
Life is hard for all of us. Don’t dwell only on the bad stuff.
If you find yourself with a victim mentality, write down one thing every day that you are thankful for. You will be surprised to see how your thinking will change!
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber …
The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
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