Tag Archives: Forgiveness

The Price of Kindness

Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

Unnecessary Disclaimer: I’m being honest and open.

A series of events led to my eye open experience.

There is a price to pay for being kind. In a cruel world, people see meekness and kindness as weakness.

I witnessed this even in a church! The very place where meekness, kindness and gentleness should be respected and even honored, the meek and the kind are shunned, insulted and made to feel inadequate. Brashness, cruelty and harsh words were celebrated as strength, used to control, manipulate and crush it’s recipients.

It was covered up in the guise of tough love, honesty, boldness, playful banter etc. We have lots of fluffy words for cruelty these days.

It’s tempting to want revenge, or to prove yourself to these people but this is my conclusion.

I want to remain kind. I want to be myself and who God made me to be. It takes a lot of strength NOT to fit in. It takes a lot of strength to keep going after being rejected, mistreated and misunderstood.

I had someone tell me that kindness is fake. Poor soul. Poor soul believes kindness is fake and rudeness is strength.

In wisdom, you’ll know that sort of person is troubled and being unkind back will just exasperate the issue.

I think these experiences, while they hurt me deeply , has made me stronger.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I have fallen in love with myself even more. I pick and choose my battles wisely. If I make a mistake, I apologize , fix it as best as I can and move forward. I also know that my actions aren’t always kind but I want to be kinder.

Kindness for me is peace. It’s about being at peace with oneself and others. I don’t have time to be cruel. Cruelty is boring! There is so much to do in life than plotting against your next victim.

After every heartache I make two declarations: I will serve God no matter what and I want to do the right thing.

Love is patient and kind. Listen, I don’t always get it right, no one will but being consistently cruel to people, even those that have hurt you isn’t right! There is no justification for it!

Forgiveness is a choice! A process yes, but it’s a choice you have to make.

Forgiveness gives you internal peace in a chaotic world!

I was mad at God over things in my life, including my own choices. Now thinking about it, as painful as it was, I don’t regret it.

In a fallen world, pain builds character. All of my struggles and heartaches, sins (yup) and mistakes , not one piece or part must be forgotten for they all are the building blocks to my character.

The Bible clearly shows us the faults, mistakes and triumphs of it’s characters. There is constant character development.

The most important elements to life are our character and godliness. The quest for material things ends with death but our character and our godliness will be tested in the next life.

I learned through it all that God loves me too.

The Journey to Love

These last few months, God has been taking me through a journey through love. He began to open my eyes to the people around me. He exposed things within myself and others. The information given was given with the purpose of healing.

I say this for a reason. Sometimes we think all information we receive is from God. The way I can tell if it is or isn’t, is how my heart responds to it. If the information was meant for me to hate someone or myself or is that information given for me to seek forgiveness or give it.

With all the information I’ve received, it felt like system overload. The journey is hard. It is emotional. It leaves you naked and exposed. It leaves you vulnerable, but in a good way. You see, I could be hiding in the shadows. However, true love doesn’t allow someone to hide away in shame. It allows the person to fall on their face and know for a fact that there is a loving God that will embrace them.

I say this all the time and mean it :true and pure love comes from God. I had gotten tired of hearing how loveless I was from the very people I had looked to for love. The very people who told me I wasn’t loving, failed to love me. So, how convincing are you if you do not even embody what you expect from me? Unlike some people that go searching for love, I accepted a life without it. I wasn’t looking for love nor did I care for it. I was content living my life and being successful. I worked hard at everything. I had dreams and goals and I was very happy with them. However, I had reached the end of myself and my goals and dreams could only get me so far. I do not say this with any anger or shame. I say this with joy. The very people that failed to love me, I now see them as incomplete. I cannot hate them. Why should I? They need to experience that same love of God like I did.

I am free. This word came with a price. I had to lose everything to gain my life! But I thank God for the process because I can truly say I know who God is. God is love. This is truth. This cannot be argued or changed. God is love. Pure and true love. No ones love can come close. We must always love people with the hope of pointing them to the ultimate love of God. Our love is never complete. It cannot compare. Our love cannot save. Our love cannot heal. Our love cannot change if it is not rooted in who Christ is. Everything must point back to him.

Thank you Lord for your love personified through Jesus Christ. Thank you for his life, his ministry and his example. May we always strive to be like Jesus in all we do by the power of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

 

You Are Not Condemned

Anyone that speaks condemnation over your life is not of God. The bible tells us in John 3:16 that God so loved the world that he gave us Jesus Christ and that whoever believes in him has eternal life.

It is one thing to determine and judge the nature of a person, but it is another thing to condemn someone and speak on God’s behalf when you don’t even know what is going on in someone’s heart. Usually, we judge a person to determine the company we keep and the influences around us, but we are not God.

If you believe in Jesus Christ and follow him, you are saved. It doesn’t matter what you did or are struggling with. Notice I say struggle. We do not become perfect overnight but it is a process that the Holy Spirit takes us through.

If God based our future on who we were in the past, do you think we would even have the bible we have today? David was not only a womanizer, he was a murder: killed a man for his wife. Yet, he was still considered a man after God’s own heart. Moses also killed a man. Apostle Paul persecuted the early Christians but later became the main apostle to the gentiles.

What amazes me about some of us , is that, we can be so happy for another person’s testimony. A man or woman that was caught up in drugs. Lived a horrible lifestyle, treated people horribly, but they share their wonderful testimony and everyone is so happy and applauding. But make someone in your own personal life go through these things. Make this person do something bad to you and it doesn’t matter if this person has changed and is sharing their testimony, no ounce of mercy or forgiveness is shown. It amazes me, we love success stories but we do not like the process.

We say we love people but we smile in their faces, pretend we want to pray for them but in our hearts we are just sizing them up. To see if they are worthy of what God is blessing them with. We don’t bat an eye when people that blatantly disregard God is financially prospering but let someone in the faith prosper, we turn a side eye or question why them.

Instead of looking in our own hearts, we are trying to appease our flaws by putting someone else down.

No one is perfect and no one can save themselves. We all fall short. Some of us fall miserably. There are consequences in life, yes. But wow I truly understand the significance of what Jesus did for that woman that was going to be stoned. Jesus said ” he who is without sin throw the first stone.”

We are all guilty, at some point, of believing that we are better than others. That our own mess don’t stink. We are guilty of believing that God plays favorites. God has no favorites, he loves us all. From the righteous to the unrighteous, his love and mercy pours down on us all. And remember, we were all unrighteous at some point. We weren’t born saved.

We have a false sense of love and mercy in this world. We believe that actions is all that love is. But, I pray for you and I feed you. I give you everything and yet my heart towards you is like poison. We must be full of love, even within our hearts. Our prayers and actions must come from a sincere place. And if this is not possible, remove yourself from that person’s presence and seek the Lord. Don’t hang around and try to push people down. Don’t hang around and continue the cycle of hate. If you KNOW BETTER, DO BETTER. With much knowledge comes responsibility.

As Jesus always say ” He who has an ear, let him hear.” Not every message is timely but if you have the right heart condition to heed this message, LISTEN.

The way you treat someone can greatly affect their walk with God. You can greatly discourage a person who is trying to live right. This is a message for all of us. We are constantly called to forgive and to allow God to wash our hearts daily.

Will we always get it right? NO! But at the same time, we must be mindful and always strive to do better.

 

Moving Beyond Yourself

I had to take a moment and thank God for everything he has done for me. For protecting me, guiding me and helping me along. However, I wanted to say more than that. I wanted to experience more than that. Those things are wonderful but I want to move beyond what I have now and see the heart of God. I want to see him beyond what I see now. I want to move beyond my world, my very small and limited world and see the world through God’s eyes. I want to see things the way God does. I want to talk to God in a way that is greater than I have today. I want to move beyond my troubles, beyond my circumstances and just see God. No distractions. When you take a moment to give God all your fears and cares it truly means freeing yourself of those burdens so you can truly concentrate and focus on him only. I know he will take care of me. And forgiveness is important. When you don’t forgive you are holding yourself back. That’s why God commands us to love each other. Just forgive. Ask God to help you to forgive.

Right now, my place is in the arms of God. I can’t expect to be a blessing to anyone else if I don’t have a solid relationship with him first.

Finding Joy in Forgiveness/Letting Go.

Let me start of by saying that this is not a post about how to forgive. I’m simply sharing how holding on to ill feelings or hurt can sap our joy, productivity and blind our eyes to happiness in life.

In every way possible we must learn to experience our feelings in healthy ways. This does not mean to embody the negativity that a feeling can possess, but rather, allow ourselves to understand why we feel that way, present it to God and then leave it in his hands.

Sometimes we think even the smallest thing isn’t worth dealing with but pushing aside something we think is small or unimportant can later become a thorn under our skin. An annoying thorn that needs a doctor to remove. Even worse, it can become infected.

That’s how far I let things go. You know, when you let something fester behind the scenes for so long that you start noticing little things about yourself that doesn’t seem right. It’s that little infection screaming for attention. It’s not screaming for attention to be removed but it wants to be exalted over everything in your life, especially God.

Emotional trauma is one of the ways Satan and sin enters our lives. ( Oh no she didn’t just mention Satan. Yes folks, he’s real.)

To make a potentially long post short, God is big enough to cover everything from huge life struggles to small slight hurts from the past. We might be stubborn and say, ” well, I can just forget about it on my own” but honestly, we can’t. It’s a dangerous this to let something brood under the shadows for so long. I’m challenging myself to identify, feel, and confess all my pain to the greatest Father ever. I know with all my heart that he can help me once I stop being so stubborn and proud.

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*Pictures are from Google Images.*

The Power of Forgiveness

After reading about Xitclalli “Chili” Vasquez , who was involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver that left her paralyzed from the chest down, I began to think about childhood and the innocence that went along with it.

Little Chili wrote a letter to the young man that caused her to become paralyzed and explained in detail her life after the accident. She has trouble dressing herself and doing things that she usually could do. It’s like waking up one day and being stripped of her freedom. She cannot be like other 9 year olds. She depends on her family for more than is normal for a child and this causes her to cry out in frustration.

Her letter not only touched those around her but prompted me to look at my own life and my own behavior. I remembered when I was a child and how easy it was to forgive, to forget and move on. This little girl will always be reminded of what happened to her on that horrific day, but instead of choosing to blame anyone for her circumstances she wanted to reach out to the Young man and even meet his family. I don’t know if many of us would do the same. I know I wouldn’t. Most likely, deep down, I’d hold a grudge. Maybe I wouldn’t be as honest as this child is with her self. She didn’t deny how hard it was, nor the fact that she still cries from the burden of relearning everything. But I think she also realized that the young man needed someone to reach out to him as well.

Why do people drink and do other things they know are harmful to themselves and others? We will mostly write it off as being selfish and evil, but there are times-more than not- when people have just made poor decisions and find themselves in a bigger and deeper mess. This is not to excuse the action and the consequences of these actions but there is a root cause for everything. When we can look beyond the situation at hand and look deeper we can truly start on the road towards forgiveness. We can truly embody what innocence is. We will no longer hold in feelings of hurt and blame and can move on with life and be happy.

Everyone needs love and second chances. If we cannot do this, we are only hurting ourselves. If Jesus was like us, none of us would’ve been forgiven. It is Christ-like to forgive. We should never cease to forgive and to love and to move on. I want to be just like little Chili when it comes to forgiveness. Even if there’s nothing I could do to change someone (because we cannot) at least I can move on knowing that I shared my feelings ( like Chili did). True, honest and innocent feelings. Feelings that are real and void of anger and hate.

Despite her body being paralyzed, her heart and her dreams are not, I pray with all my heart that even if life is not what we consider normal for Little Chili, that it will be Extraordinary!

To read a little from her letter :http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/texas-girl-paralyzed-drunk-driver-leaves-jury-tears-151145291–abc-news-topstories.html

To make a contribution : Scroll to the end of the article-http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2012/11/14/court-cries-after-girls-letter-to-drunk-driver/

Merrishel R.