My friend, may I ask you a question? Is it difficult for you to forgive; to let go of resentment? When someone has done something to you that seems unforgivable, are you willing to give that person an opportunity to repent? If not, is it possible you are missing one of the most peaceful times of life?
Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
How powerful is resentment. When we look back at the person or the thing that has injured us or humiliated us, how easy it is to burn with that emotion. That strange concoction of revenge and hurt, is both a powerful weapon and and an impenetrable defense. I remember reading a story about a society belle living in the Confederate capitol of Richmond in the months immediately following the end of the war. She was walking along a street when she fell on a loose board. A young Union soldier offered her his hand and helped her to her feet. She brushed herself off and then remarked, “That was most kind of you young man. I hope that there is reserved for you the coolest place in hell.” Resentment. Even the kindest of deeds finds it hard to penetrate its thick armor. It bullies out forgiveness and curries bitterness.
Is it difficult for you to forgive; to let go of resentment? It is for most and nearly impossible for some.
Here’s a story: A beautiful legend tells of an African tribe that ritualizes forgiveness. When a tribe member acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he or she is taken to the center of the village. All work ceases and every man, woman and child in the village gathers in a large circle around the accused. Then the tribe bombards the rejected person with affirmations! One at a time, friends and family enumerate all the good the individual has done. Every incident, every experience that can be recalled with some detail and accuracy is recounted. All their positive attributes, strengths and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length. Finally, the tribal circle is broken, a joyous celebration takes place, and the outcast is welcomed back into the tribe. What a beautiful ritual of restoration! They replace hurt with happiness; pain with peace. Once again they are family. The rejected one is restored and the village is made whole. (Steve Goodier)
It’s been said that “Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” If so, is letting go of our resentments really an option? When we cling to old resentments we do nothing more than insure our future will become narrowed by them. They will push us into moral and social corners and squeeze the love out of our lives. In a sense, we will create our own cool place in hell, right here on earth.
We pray. Dear Lord.You teach us to “let the peace that comes from Christ rule in our hearts.” (Col. 3:15) When I forgive in words, allow your Holy Spirit to fill my heart with peace. With gratitude I can draw closer to you and let go of unforgiveness. With gratitude I can see the person who caused my pain as a child of the Most High God. Loved and accepted. Help me find the compassion that comes with true forgiveness. And when I see the person who hurt me, bring this prayer back to my remembrance, so I can take any ungodly thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. (2 Cor. 10:5) And may the confidence of Christ in my heart guide me into the freedom of forgiveness. I praise you for the work you are doing in my life, teaching and perfecting my faith.
In Jesus name. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.