Monday Morning Musings ...
It has been a while since I gave a Monday Morning Musings post. Between getting away for a couple of days, having a couple of funerals and volleyball season starting I just haven't gotten it done. Sorry about that, but here we go again.
Yesterday was a very good day. The highlight was our annual outdoor baptism service yesterday afternoon. With the sun blazing we celebrate the baptism of 4 wonderful people. Their testimonies were very moving and encouraging. Being able to be a part of this special day with them was outstanding. I have had the privilege of seeing 2 of them come to faith in Christ and watching all of them grow in their faith in Christ. We then had a great picnic together after the service. The food was good and the fellowship and sharing was great.
In the morning our worship was good. Musically we enjoyed great participation and a very good spirit during the service. We had good attendance again this week. Our attendance has been pretty good since I started this series, don't know if the series has anything to do with it or not.
This week was principle #6 of the series A Celebration of Healing/Recovery. This principle is "Evaluate all my relationships, offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I've done to others except when to do so would harm them or others." This obviously deals with relational repair. We examined Ephesians 4:29-5:2 for this principle. If we live verse 29 out in our relationships we solve many of our issues, it says "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Wow!
Why should I forgive those who have hurt me? Because God has forgiven me, Colossians 3:13. I am forgiven therefore I need to forgive. Because resentment doesn't work. Let me repeat that, resentment doesn't work. At least it doesn't work in having healthy relationships, it works in destroying relationships, Job 5:2 says, Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple." Because I will need forgiveness in the future. That is guaranteed. Check out Mark 11:25.
How do I forgive those who hurt me? Reveal your hurt,you can't get past a hurt until you admit it hurt. You can't forgive what you don't own up to. Your options are to repress it, ignore it or confess it. There is no closure to a hurt without disclosure of the hurt. Then you must Release the offender. The word release can often be used in place of forgive. Read through some of the verses on forgiving and see how it reads if you insert the word release. Releasing someone is part of the act of forgiving them. You must forgive them. According Matthew 18:21-22 you don't keep track of the number times you have forgiven them, you just forgive. Forgiveness and trust are not the same thing, but that is subject for another post sometime. Then you must Replace your hurt with God's peace. Colossians 3:15 says, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, ..." Let God deal with the offender you forgive them so God can bring healing to your heart.
You also need to make amends to those you have hurt. Why? Because unresolved relationships are often at the root of our problems. Read Hebrews 12:14-15, great words on this subject. How do I make amends? Make a list of those you have harmed and what you did. That is in case you have trouble remembering and to make it concrete for yourself. Then think about how you would want someone to make amends to you, Luke 6:31. Think through is it the right time? Make sure there is time and it is not when there are other pressing issues, but don't use "not the right time" as an excuse forever. Make sure you have the right attitude? Do it privately, humbly, sincerely and simply say what you did wrong. Don't try to justify it, just assume responsibility. Don't do it to try and get a return apology, do it without expecting anything in return. Then ask is it appropriate? There are some situations where it would be inappropriate to contact the person. Don't contact an old boyfriend or girlfriend after either of you is married. Do not contact someone you had an affair with. You obviously cannot contact someone who is dead. You can write a letter that you never mail. You can talk to an empty chair as if they were there and get it out of you.
Then you need to refocus your life. If you continue to resent someone you will begin to resemble that person. So, refocus. Put your heart right, release and forgive. Reach out to God and make sure that relationship is right. Face the world again, don't hide, live as God created you to live.
So what will you do?