I have a couple of my “bad Christian” friends that are betting on when the first grandpa blog would appear. Whoever had January 28th is the winner. This article is not about how beautiful Ethan Paul is or how excited Papa and Nana are to get to know him. I am, however, more than willing to write that blog. Today’s thoughts came from an isolated and tender moment that I didn’t even witness.
My friend Don Jacobson has begun a new journey of encouragement and hope. His new site is called God Makes Lemonade. You will read stories that seem hopeless or even tragic and then see how God redeems those situations in some amazing way. Joni and I are humbled and touched that Don chose the story of our precious daughter Katie to be the first featured story. I would be honored if you took a moment to read her story.
(The current iPod Devotional from theFish.com)
In recent weeks I posted a three part series at Crosswalk.com called God’s Weight Loss Plan. The plan was to shed the weight of bitterness and pain brought on by a lack of forgiveness. Nothing makes my heart ache more than seeing the damage of unforgiving hearts. I see bitterness and anger ravage relationships, marriages, church unity and the body of Christ. I have been guilty. I am guilty today. Even as I write I am trusting God for the healing and strength to forgive a hurt from years past.
Regular readers of the humble ramblings know that I started my journey in a legalistic church. We were the Monty Python version of church.
“We are the knights who say….NO!”
We had several volumes of things that were a big NO!
Here is a little legalism sampler.
NO mixed swimming.
NO rock and roll music.
NO slacks for women.
NO long hair for men.
You get the idea. Not surprisingly it took me a while to figure out grace and freedom in Christ. The irony is that there are a few no’s in the New Testament that we somehow overlooked. For example, here is little “no” verse that would have come in handy.
We have been outlining God’s Guaranteed Weight Loss Plan. With this plan you can begin to lose the weight of bitterness and anger caused from lack of forgiveness. If you are carrying around an unforgiving spirit it is weighing you down spiritually and emotionally. I know from sad personal experience. Part one and two set the stage and today we wrap up the list.
Fact 7: Forgiveness is not denial of the hurt.
Pride will often cause us to “not allow the person who hurt us the satisfaction” of knowing we are wounded. That is absurd. Acknowledge the reality of the injury, but make the choice to be healed.
Yesterday I started discussing God’s Guaranteed Weight Loss Plan. With this plan you can lose the weight of bitterness and anger caused from lack of forgiveness. If you are carrying around an unforgiving spirit it is weighing you down spiritually and emotionally. Part one set the stage. For the next two days we will look at some things I have learned (usually the painful way) about forgiveness.
Fact 1: Our ability to forgive is rooted in the depth of our gratitude.