Tag Archives: forgiveness

Overlooking Offenses.

Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs. (Proverbs 19:11 NLT)

 

Sometimes, we think that if we overlook a wrong, then we won't be validated or defended. Remember, Jesus was wronged. Yet, He went it the cross like a lamb led to slaughter, and he opened not His mouth. We are never more like Jesus when we overlook an offense. And, we earn respect when we do.

 

I don't always keep my mouth shut about an offense. I don't think, if we are honest, any of us do. However, I have learned one thing about choosing to “vent” an offense. To make sure the offense is redeemed in that vent. In other words, don't share an offense without the intent of it leading to the redemption of it. In doing so, I am careful who I share, or vent, offenses to. I always know that if share an offense with my father, his response will not be, “I can't believe that person” or “I would be done with that person.” He first acknowledges my hurt and says he's sorry. But, then he quickly helps me see the hurt the offender is speaking from and also makes me look within myself at what may be drawing it out of that person. Then, I am able to release forgiveness, and overlook the offense moving forward. And so, it is redeemed.

 

One of the greatest examples of overlooking an offense is when King David traveled to Bahurim, and Shimei, a member of Saul's family came out to curse him. Shimei threw gravel at David and cursed him and accused him of stealing Saul's throne. David's officer, Abishai, couldn't take it and said, “Let me go over and cut off his head!” But, David responded, “Leave him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to do it. And perhaps the Lord will see that I am being wronged and will bless me because of these curses today.”

 

Later in scripture, Shimei begs for mercy. But, to Abishai, this was no small thing. No small offense. To throw gravel at a king and curse the Lord's anointed was a huge deal. Most of us would have agreed with Abishai's response and wanted Shimei punished. But, David shocks his men seeking justice and says “what do I have in common with you?” In other words, how are we even alike? You seek vengeance, and I seek mercy? Ouch. And, then, he says, “Do I not know I am king over Israel?”

 

Ahhhh. The key to David overlooking an offense. He KNEW who he was. His security was built in knowing who he was. Not in other's opinions of him.

 

Remember who you are when you are offended. You are a child of the King. You are OF God. Let this truth go deep within you, so you can overlook wrongs. And, when you must vent, make sure redemption is the end result.

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Filed under Life Experiences, Relationships, Virtue

Making Allowances.

* Written for The Grip, August 30, 2012

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.  Colossians 3:13

It’s easy to remember the forgive part.  Okay, it’s easier.  It’s the first part we tend to overlook:  Make allowance for each other’s faults.  Most of us have a difficult time making allowances for each other’s faults.  In other words, we don’t allow people to fail us.  We forget to make those allowances.  The truth is every person we are in relationship with will fail us.  My spouse will fail me.  My children will fail me.  My friends will fail me.  And, I will fail them.  The key is to not allow those moments to define that relationship.  Instead, we must view it as a moment in time.  A moment where we allowed that person to fail us.  A moment where we forgave them as soon as they did.  A moment.  That’s all.

Even though none of us think of ourselves as perfect, we still have a tough time allowing others to be flawed.  As a parent, I have to constantly remind myself to allow my children fail.  I have to guard against over-parenting.  There are times I try to prevent them from failing instead of letting them make mistakes.    Allowing them to fail.  I want to protect them from failure.  But, if I could protect them from every single failure, they would never see their need for a Savior.

I’m going to fail you.  You’re going to fail me.  When we do, we have a gap.  On one side of that gap is my expectation of you.  On the other side of that gap is what actually happens.  We choose what goes in the gap when someone fails us.  We can fill that gap with bitterness, anger, or hurt.  Or, we can fill that gap with forgiveness, grace, and allowances for that person’s faults.

We choose what goes in the gap.

Paul follows up Colossians 3:13 with this:

14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.  15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.  And always be thankful.

Get up every morning and wrap yourself in love.  Choose peace over being right.  And, be thankful for those people in your life…..

Even when they fail you.

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Filed under disappointment, God Stuff, Love, Relationships

What the Hulk Taught Me.

It’s really me.  I know, right?  My dad has encouraged me to start posting some of my articles from The Grip to my blog.  So, here goes this one I wrote on the Marvel hero who scared me when I was kid:

I think I’ve said it before.  But, I am certain I learn as much from children as they learn from me.  We took our two oldest kids to see The Avengers.  (Loved the movie, by the way.  I, mean, what’s not to love about men who save the world by flying in iron suits and smashing stuff?)  My 9 year old is a huge fan of Marvel superheroes.  It’s probably a rite of passage into his manhood.  So, I asked him questions throughout the entire movie.

Is Loki good or bad?  Is Thor really his brother?

When I saw the Hulk first get angry and start smashing everyone, even the good guys, I asked him, “Is the Hulk bad?”

He replied, “He isn’t bad, Mom.  He’s just mad.”

His reply pierced my very core.  And, I haven’t stop thinking about it since.

It’s so easy to view other people’s behavior as bad sometimes.  When they say hurtful things.  When their actions hurt those around them.  When they go off on people.  When they seem to be so insensitive to others.  When they appear to be, well, let’s just say it….

Mean.

Most of the time, these people who hurt us aren’t mean.  They aren’t bad people.  They’re just mad.

There is a deeper rooted issue than what is manifesting on the outside.  The deeper root could be a seed of rejection, envy, or disappointment.  It could be shame or guilt or never feeling good enough.  Whatever the root, it can manifest itself in ways that hurts others.  In the past, I had a difficult time understanding why some people didn’t seem to move beyond playing the role of victim or villain.  Now, I have stopped trying to understand.  That lack of understanding was turning into judgments I didn’t need to make.  My mother has always told me that I can view people as hurting, or I can view them as dangerous.  Once, I began viewing them as hurting, I found it easier to release forgiveness.

Remember, forgiveness is not just about the other person.  It’s about you giving yourself the permission to emotionally move on from being hurt.  It can be also be about setting healthy boundaries in your relationship with that person where you separate yourself emotionally.  And, that is okay.  Christ didn’t reject anyone.  He made everyone feel special.  But, He didn’t let everyone cling onto Him.

Boundaries are okay.  Unforgiveness is not.  May we all have a renewed understanding that most people aren’t bad people.  They’re just mad.  Release the hurts.  Pray they learn they aren’t the deep rooted issues they’ve made themselves to be.  They aren’t who people say they are.  They are who God says they are.

Because, it’s knowing and believing who God says you are that changes everything.

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.  Ephesians 1:4

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Filed under disappointment, Relationships

Big Mama Says We Talk Too Much.

Yesterday afternoon, I found myself in my kitchen singing the words to “You Are Good.”  These lyrics rang through my head until nighttime:

Your kindness leads me to repentance
Your goodness draws me to Your side
Your mercy calls me to be like You
Your favor is my delight
Every day, I’ll awaken my praise
And pour out a song from my heart.

Romans 2:4 says, “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you?  Does this mean nothing to you?  Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?”

It’s His kindness that leads us to repentance.  It’s His goodness that draws us.

My translation:  Stop judging and be so dang intolerant of other people.  God uses kindness, sweet words, and forgiveness to transform our own lives into something beautiful.

When people disappoint us….

When people don’t live up to our expectations….

Fill in the gap of your expectation of someone and what that someone actually does with kindness and forgiveness.

Even with your spouse.

Give him or her the benefit of the doubt.  When has expressing your disappointment with your spouse EVER worked?  There is a definite time and place for healthy communication.  Healthy.  There is also a time to keep your mouth shut.

I remember being aggravated with Kris once for not taking care of something before he left for a trip.  I was so stinking mad.  I picked up the phone to call him and tell him exactly how I felt about his oversight.

Fortunately for Kris, Big Mama was at my house.

“Talk, talk, talk. That’s the trouble with young people.  They think they need to talk everything out.  Sometimes, you just need to keep your mouth shut.  Put the phone down, and just forgive him.”

I’m pretty sure filling in the gap with forgiveness and a closed mouth did more for my marriage than that phone call would’ve done.

Trying to bring conviction to someone’s life never goes the way we think it will.  But kindness will always bring about effectual change.   And often times, our kindness towards others changes US.

It’s how God functions.   And, since we are of God….created in His image….isn’t it how we should function?

I am so thankful for His patience.  For His love.  For His mercy.

And, so thankful that His mercy calls us to be like Him.  Because, His ways are truly better.

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Filed under Big Mama, disappointment, God Stuff, Marriage, Relationships

Breaking the Dangerous Cycle.

One of my friends and mentors, Penny Doss, is full of wisdom.  I like to draw from that wisdom as often as possible.  We recently engaged in a conversation about difficult relationships.  We can see people as either dangerous or hurting.  And, often times, we see them as dangerous, because we feel they do not respond in ways that are Christ-like.  We feel they are a danger to our self-esteem, our emotional health, or our other relationships.  And, while we know in our gut that the person is wounded, we still find it difficult to see them that way.

So, we either consciously or subconsciously, see them as dangerous.  A threat.  And, we enter a dangerous cycle.

Whenever we view that person as dangerous, we create an environment where that person will view us the exact same way:  dangerous.  And, a vicious cycle ensues.  You see them as dangerous, so they see you as dangerous.

You are key in breaking this cycle.  Sometimes, those people we view as dangerous will say things that hurt us.  We view their actions as vindictive and ugly.  And, we want to respond to them likewise.  The first thing you need to do in breaking the cycle is realize that the person isn’t telling you who you are.  But, rather, he is showing you who he is.  Only God can tell you who you are.  So, let that principle go deep into your heart.

So, now what do you do with your hurt?  Your urge to respond to them in a way that is consistent with their behavior?  Take it to God.  Tell Him every time you are struggling.  Tell Him how you want to respond likewise, and ask Him to take it from you.  Keep giving it to Him.  Then, one day, you will realize it is His for good.  And, the dangerous cycle is broken.

And, that person no longer has power over you.  You will choose to love and forgive instead.  As a matter of fact, you will see that person as hurting.  And, you will begin to see that person the way Christ does. 

You will be free.  And, full of more love and forgiveness than you thought possible.

And, your life will be abundantly blessed!

Thank you, Penny Doss, for imitating Christ for me time and time again.

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Filed under God Stuff, Relationships

Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken.

“You never forget the day that changes your life forever.  The day that turns your heart and your family upside down.”

And, those are the first words my good friend, Cindy Beall, pens in her book, Healing Your Marriage When Trust is Broken.  I know Cindy and her husband, Chris.  I’ve sat around their dinner table.  I’ve eaten Cindy’s amazing black bean salsa and steak fajitas.  I’ve spent hours shopping with her helping her pick out the perfect pair of denim.  ‘Cause she is understands a good pair of jeans is from the Lord.  So, what I’m saying is….I know her story. 

And, it’s the most amazing story of redemption in a marriage I’ve ever personally known.

But, it’s one thing to know her story.  It’s another thing to read it.  To read the brutal transparency of what her heart looked like after Chris confessed he had been unfaithful.  To read the shock.  The betrayal.  The shattered dream. 

And, then to read the forgiveness.  The healing.  The restoration.  The marriage that God made better than new. 

If you think your marriage is unrecoverable.  If you wonder if you will ever be able to trust again.  If you have lost all hope….

Cindy’s book will inspire you to believe otherwise. 

She will win your heart with her honesty.  And, she will help you write your own story of redemption.

To purchase Cindy’s book, go to Amazon.com.

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Filed under Marriage

Loving Hurt.

I’ve always heard and maintained the philosophy that sometimes you’ve gotta play hurt.  In other words, sometimes, you’ve got to play and give and serve even when you don’t feel like playing and giving and serving.  But, quite frankly, we usually WANT to play even though we are hurt.  Most athletes will continue to play their game hurt, because they are passionate about that game.  So, it’s not really that much of a sacrifice.  I mean, I’m no athlete, but I do have some pretty awesome running apparel that I wear to carpool little people. 

The real sacrifice comes in loving hurt. 

Kris is my safe place.  He is the one who understands when I don’t feel like giving or serving.  He’s the one who loves me no matter what.  That being said, it’s pretty dang easy to bow out on serving him when I’m physically or mentally exhausted or hurting.  Besides, he understands.

And, with my recent back injury, I was little good to anyone, and Kris served me without a single complaint.  He’s good like that.  He’s compassionate and understanding.  He does, however, fail to understand how accessories really do make the wardrobe.  I know, right?

But, it hit me a few days ago.

Sometimes, you’ve got to love hurt. 

I’m not just talking about loving in spite of the proverbial headache.  Well, sort of, I am.  I am talking about stepping outside of yourself. 

Outside off your physical pain. 

Outside of your emotional pain. 

Outside of your exhaustion. 

Outside of your broken heart.  

Outside of your stuff.   

And, choosing to love hurt. 

I was really tired the other night.  (It’s okay.  You can keep reading.  This doesn’t get graphic.  This is a family blog.)  I had the worst headache of all the headaches in the world.  (And, I never exaggerate.)   I looked at my husband lying beside me and this little revelation hit me:  love hurt.  So, I rubbed his back….  And, we will just leave it at that, friends.   

At that moment, I sure would have loved to fall asleep watching House Hunters and nurse my headache.  But, I knew I needed to choose him this time.  I knew I needed to love hurt. 

You see, often, the person we love the most is the person we serve the least. 

For me, it was my physical pain keeping me from loving hurt.  For you, it might be a different kind of hurt.  Loving hurt for you may look like having to forgive while hurt.  It might be loving even though your feelings are hurt.  Loving even though you are disappointed.  Loving even though you are mentally exhausted and feel like you just can’t take any more. 

Loving even though….

Because, when we do love hurt, that love never returns void.  It is never without effect.

Because, love never, ever fails. 

And, that is one certainty I know with all of my heart.

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Filed under life, Love, Relationships