do you need help to forgive?

When I think about forgiveness, you don’t have to convince me that I need to forgive – I’m already on board with that.  The tricky part for me is the actual forgiving.  Here are some tips that might help you:

  • forgiveness isn’t a feeling.  Consider the Corrie Ten Boom quote, “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”
  • forgiveness in the greek means “to let go or release”:  when we forgive, we release the hurt, bitterness, judgment & pain
  • proficient forgiveness requires practice
  • forgiveness must be kept fresh – stale forgiveness can grow putrid in our emotions and thoughts
  • Here’s a cool & short video that could be helpful:  forgiveness

course corrections

I was reading this morning in Hebrews 12 about how God corrects, just like a loving father corrects & disciplines his children.  I used to hate the whole idea of correction & being disciplined.  If the truth be told, there has been an arrogance in me about receiving correction.  In the past, I had the mindset that I did things so well that I didn’t need correction – which of course set me up for some very serious confrontations and painful corrections.  Being corrected & discipline isn’t fun.  It hurts.  But here are a few points in Hebrews 12 that have helped me about receiving correction:

  • correction is evidence of love – Heb 12:6;  no love, no correction :/
  • God’s correction is for our benefit – Heb 12:10
  • when God corrects you, decide to endure  & change:  don’t faint when God corrects you – Heb 12:5
  • God’s correction yields good fruit in our lives (peaceful fruit of righteousness) – Heb 12:11

honesty

I had an interesting conversation with a friend this morning who expressed some observations about me that could be kind of scratchy.  If you’re like me, sometimes when I hear things about me that I don’t like, I want to blow it off & pretend that these things aren’t true.  But just because we may not like certain things that we hear or see about ourselves doesn’t mean that they’re not true – in fact, sometimes the truth hurts, even if a person is trying to be gentle, kind & gracious.

So just because something hurts, does that give us the permission to ignore or lash back?  Nope.

When I step back & pause, what I really want in my life is for The Helper, aka Spirit of Truth, to be comfortable to speak with me and to engage in my daily living – even when it costs me some rough spots and scabs 🙂

So here’s to listening, growing & learning, with band-aids, neosporin & Help 😀

Turning points

When I was learning to snowboard, one of the super important terms / skills that was essential to master was the concept of linking turns – being able to turn from moving to the right to the left & vice versa – easier said than done. Today, I have no problem linking my turns & it’s close to second nature for me, but not without lots of falling, spills, pain, etc. What I’ve learned from snowboarding is that there can be lots of lessons I can learn from pain. These include:
*get up & keep trying
*transitions require lots of practice to be smooth
*when I get lazy, I tend to fall more
*sometimes I need to give my legs a rest
*remember the lesson but forget the pain 🙂

Dealing with criticism

I haven’t met many people who enjoy being criticized. It’s not fun & can often be hurtful. But here’s some thoughts that might be helpful:
*listen & process – often times there is at least a grain of truth in some of the critical content
*forgive – criticism is usually hurtful & the most constructive way to deal with hurt is by forgiving
*grow – chose to grow & learn. Get better & not bitter
*intentions – when a person is critical of us they may have mean intentions or maybe helpful. What a person intends is not as important as what we do with the criticism 🙂

the problem with pain

There are all different kinds of pain: a broken arm, a sunburn, rejection, aggressive words, neglectful behavior, perceived exclusion, disappointment, grief, . . . . . When we are in pain or have pain in our lives we don’t like it, not one bit. But in my mind, a significant challenge with pain is not that we have pain, but rather what we do with it & even how we manage it (rather than letting it manage us). Here are a few bullet thoughts that might merit some consideration:
*forgiveness can interrupt the continual cycle of pain in our relationships
*when we have pain, it’s important that we don’t perpetuate our pain by hurting others
*Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted, He is our ultimate Healer
*we must be vigilent to ensure that pain doesn’t become our identity – a painful person
*focus is an important component with pain – it seems to me that the more we focus on the hurt, the worse it gets
*on the flip side, I’ve discovered that when I keep my focus on Jesus, The Healer, the pain decreases in the light of His majesty

May we experience Jesus as our ultimate Healer for every pain in our lives 🙂

an important thought for friendship

 I was reading earlier this week about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, when He was under tremendous pressure knowing that He would be betrayed, brutally beaten and crucified in less than 24 hours.  In the Garden, He was in an extremely weak place emotionally and He asked 3 of His closest friends to “keep watch with Me.”  It seems to me that Jesus wanted some company during this REALLY TOUGH time – unfortunately, His friends fell asleep and weren’t very good company.

But here’s my point, if you want to be close to someone and really connect and know them, you can’t just hang around when everything is smoothy groovy.  Deep, genuine and constructive intimacy requires us to be present when the other person is in their most vulnerable and even weakest state.  Let’s learn from the failure of Jesus’ friends and do our level best to be present for others when they are in difficult times.