Thursday, July 09, 2015

Snap Out of it: Hit the Delete Button.

Imagine living in a society where adulterers wear a scarlet letter and thieves  wear a ball and chain. Imagine being identified only by your past."They probably deserve it," you say. Really? Jesus said if you look at a member of the opposite sex with lust in your eyes, you've committed adultery in your heart (Matthew 5:28). Ouch! Then he went on to say that the standard of judgement you impose on others, is the standard by which you'll be judged (Matthew 7:1-2). can you live with that? Now, God's not soft on sin. His love won't let you off. "The Lord disciplines those he loves" (Hebrews 12:6). But His love won't let you go (Romans 8:38-39).

We are not too familiar with scarlet letters, balls and chains, but we are with computers. And when someone hurts or upsets us, God says; "Forgive and hit the delete button!" Otherwise you will be corrupted with a virus that controls the way you think, act and talk. Worst of all, it will keep you chained to the memories." But forgiving is hard" you say. Sure; but it is also weighty holding onto a grudge. How heavy is a glass of water? That depends on how long you have to carry it. A minute is no problem and after an hour your arm might ache. But after 24hours you'll probably be in a bad shape! In each instance the glass weighs the same, but the longer you carry it the heavier it feels. And it's the same with a grudge; it can get so heavy it stops you from living.

People will hurt you; that's the reality of sharing the planet with others. Sometimes it is intentional, other times they have no idea they upset you, far less broken your heart.  So, letting go is also freeing yourself from carrying unnecessary baggage around (Matthew 5:44). Does that mean you should go around pretending nothing is wrong? No, the first step is to confront your feelings. There should be an acceptance of how deeply hurt you are and if the wound is deep, it becomes harder to forgive. Those fingers won't just move to hit the delete button. And some may live in denial that; they've truly forgiven but deep down in their hearts there's a volcano brewing to explode at the slightest provocation. And that's why Jesus said; "pray for those who mistreat you." Forgiving someone begins with praying for them. "But I need to know why they did it." Smart people  do stupid stuff. Good people do bad stuff. And misguided people don't know what they are doing (Luke23:24). You may understand someday, or you may never understand. Either way, for your own sake forgive, hit the delete button and move on.

Written by Bob Gass; Author of The Word For Today. 365 devotionals-a whole year of companionship. Cheers!

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