Forgiveness 101

forgiveness

One of the things that I constantly struggle with is forgiveness and I’m way too old to keep this up. It is now or never for me.

There seems to be so many people on my naughty list who have harmed me in some egregious manner. To be honest, it’s a long list going way back. Add to that, my ability to forgive does not come easy. I am embarrassed to share that with you.

But I have to remember that if I don’t forgive, the ultimate loser will be me.

To hold on to hurt or hateful feelings is a self-defeating thing. It will eventually harden your heart and Lord knows, I don’t want a hard heart.

I know that if God tallied up my sins, mistakes, and wrongdoings, it would be pretty hard to forgive me. It’s a rather long list. The inability to forgive is contrary to the good news of the gospel since forgiveness is at the core of our faith. To forgive, as Christ forgave us is the ultimate victory over sin.

Am I perfect? Not at all. But I’m weary of holding these negative hurts in my soul. It has to stop.

So, before my friends, I vow to forgive. I want a contented soul and I can’t move forward without this. Most of all, I’m grateful for a loving God who forgives me daily.

I’m starting fresh today with a loving, contrite and most of all, forgiving heart. Lord, hear my prayers…

 

Regrets? I have a few

Regrets-590x399

I’m somewhat surprised when I hear someone say they have no regrets. I find that hard to believe.

There is only one person that I know who is perfect and we just celebrated His resurrection yesterday. But for the rest of us…we could use some work.

As for me, I have a lot of regrets. Too many to mention. I have been known to sit through Sunday service, say all my prayers of forgiveness with a genuine and contrite heart, march up for communion and then on the way back to my pew my mind wanders to something that I instantly regret. I can go south in a hot minute.

I once thought if I was the sort of person that believed in tattoos, I would put a permanent bodily marking of Romans 3:23 in a place where the sun doesn’t shine. That verse is courtesy of my sweet Baptist upbringing. Romans 3:23 rings true for my life. Some days I just fall a little short of the glory of God. Maybe a lot.

I have learned to live with regret but I try to learn from my mistakes as well. Even more important, I believe in a God that forgives my sins. In fact, it is my desire to try to please Him by decreasing my personal number of regrets earned in a single day.

Regrets? I have a few. But I also have a loving Savior who reminds me daily that He holds my hand as we walk through the highs and lows of this life together. Loving Jesus and choosing to follow Him is the one thing I will never regret.

How great is that?

Sorrow and Forgiveness

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

I harbor a hurt in my heart. I’m not sure how long it will take before it leaves but it is an ever present reminder of a sorrow that is hard to let go.

I learned many years ago that religious leaders aren’t perfect. You cannot count on them to never fail. But for a time, I had believed in my Pastor and it went wrong. It went really wrong.

I remember sitting in our church that had sustained me and comforted me through some of the most difficult and dark days of my life. Sunday services were my personal sanctuary. Sunday nights I turned everything over to God and just sat quietly as I tried to glean some words of comfort and grace through the service. For eight months one particular year as my Mother struggled with cancer, this was something I looked forward to and which kept me strong.

The church saved me in so many ways. Comfort came through the preaching, the concern, the serving, but especially the actual words spoken that seemed aimed directly at me in a room full of hurting and wounded souls.

Some people look back and realize that they did not appreciate this time. I remember clearly thinking that I could not believe how GREATLY blessed we were through our church leadership. We had something special. His messages were a gift from God…his failings were not.

Today, I am missing Pastor Isaac. I mourn his loss and I thank Jesus for one who tried and succeeded in reaching others for Christ. I wish he could have forgiven himself.

Jesus, watch over him for us.