– Today’s blog is from the book Pause: The Secret to a Better Life, One Word at a Time. Pick up your copy on Amazon or at:
Take a moment to think. To rethink. To revisit your past. To refuse to let previous pains control your present moods and future goals. To forgive and move on. To visit a person or place you’ve avoided. To be nice to a person who has never been nice to you—and, to do that wanting and expecting nothing in return.
Think of what you can do to make your attitude and your community better. What new goals can you set? What old hurts can you release so their throbbing doesn’t control your mood any longer? What healthy companions should you welcome and accept? What emotional and relational foods don’t taste great but bring better health to you if you digest them instead of avoiding them?
This reminds me of a great saying: “You can get bitter or you can get better.” In this season of constant change and transitions with relationships, school, work, etc, it is so impirtant to remember.
Some things are easier to forgive and truly forget, others not so much. Since a recent tragedy has occurred in my family, I’ve had to reevaluate how I look at different people. I’ve had to truly put what has happened in the past behind us. It’s hard. I don’t do a great job at that. It’s hard to let go of hurt.
I think it is great how you mention the physical aspect of eating in this. I believe there is so much symbolism in the acts that surround eating and being healthy. So often we know what the right things are to eat but we seem to always choose the things that bring only temporary pleasure meanwhile bringing long-term difficulties that we get to reap later on. A lot of my life I find myself sometimes having to force myself to eat that “salad” or that “apple” rather than choosing to indulge my desire for the “cookie”, and I find that when I do that, not only is my energy better, but my mind is clearer and my ability to make that right choice again is strengthened because of it.
In the same way, when we seek God and choose him over other things we really do want, it not only strengthens our relationship with him, but it trims off the unnecessary and helps us to realize that what we choose to fill our lives with besides God are not bringing us the lasting effects that we desire. A lot of the time, we view God as the healthy food that we force ourselves to eat, yet doesn’t taste that good. The opposite is true, the issue is, we have become so used to telling ourselves that sin is sweet and we make it the object of our desire. The funny thing is, the more of God we get, the sweeter He becomes. Just like the more you drink water, the better it tastes, and the more it satisfies your cravings.
“To be nice to a person who has never been nice to you…”
Well, that is not something we love to do. Not only do we not find that concept enjoyable, many of us do not even understand the meaning behind it. By choosing to forgive someone, we can then show them that we have forgiven them by simply treating them as if they had never hurt us. And – for the art behind forgiveness – forgiveness is just as much if not more for the other person than it is for ourselves. Maybe, just maybe, if we choose to show someone we have forgiven them, they may be able to accept that they have hurt us and forgive themselves for a past hurt that they may have experienced.
While thinking about what I can do to make my attitude and my community better, I reflect upon Christ and what He often done. He often withdrew to quiet, lonely places and prayed. I believe that this is the only thing that will truly change my attitude. I really could use to have a better attitude and mindset. I believe the way that I need to change my attitude and mindset is by going to lonely quit places which are in secret and pray. Spending time with the father is what will change my mindset. This is a goal that I am setting to do more of.
The concept of doing something nice to someone who isn’t nice to you is so foreign to our world. We live in a world of entitlement and greed, of taking and not giving. By choosing to forgive, to help to smile, to speak kindly-we are choosing to be more like Christ. To be honest, the emotional food of being the bigger person doesn’t always taste great. Sometimes I just want to give people a piece of my mind, to let loose. But just as God can love us in spite of our ugliness, I can and should do the same to others.
I’m sure everyone here has heard the phrase “pay it forward.” This may be taken out of context but the point of it is to do something, without being ask or told to do, and do something generous and out of the bottom of your heart for someone that you have never met. Whether it be leaving a dollar at the local laundry mat and attaching a note saying, “This load is on me :)” It will create a trickling effect of people wanting to do things out of the kindness of their hearts. Many people live off the “what you get is what you give” phrase and that is so greedy and selfish. We should be paying it forward and honoring the lord in every single one of our actions. Regardless of my faults, I can love on to someone who’s faults are just as great as mine.
The Lord recently checked me on this. I was convicted then humbled because I recognized that I had been excluding a particular individual because she wasn’t like me. I was humbled and I had to repent of the attitude that I had toward her. Today, I was able to talk with her. I welcomed her. It was by gods spirit that I am able to better love her.
The phrase of being nice to someone who is not nice to you is hard for a lot of people to do. They want to get revenge to that person when in reality they should just walk away from that person and do something nice to them because in the long run you will feel better about the decision you made to do that instead of getting revenge. Another thing that could happen, if we be nice to someone not being nice to us, is that in return they could see that is was not nice and then go do something nice to someone else and it creates a chain reaction and people doing nice things for other people.
God gave me a vision the other day of how he sees us. He sees us as a bride that is walking down the ile in a white gown and His heart is bursting with love. He is divinely romanced by us and wants to be intimate with us. God showed me that the love he has for us to to overflow out of our lives. To allow this love to go into others lives. For us to see people as brides and perfect, just like He sees them. To not see the sin but the beautiful creation that they are.
“To refuse to let previous pains control your present moods and future goals.” That is something that can be very difficult for me. I definitely identify as a feeling person and it’s difficult to let go of my past sometimes. Instead of focusing on moving forward, I tend to dwell on the past circumstances and ask my self what I could have changed. As this semester has progressed, it’s becoming easier to rest in the Lords forgiveness and grace, but it’s still an ongoing process- as all of our walk with the Lord are.
I often find that I don’t like many things. I try to avoid so many things, as well as many people. These dislikes have formed my thinking and my attitude toward people who I don’t even know. To look beyond all my likes and dislikes to truly love all people is hard, but it is well worth the effort.
Overcoming the god of self. How easy it is for me to see the mistakes in my life and make them bigger than they actually are. Instead of fixing them, I make them fester. Instead of letting it go I dwell on them. This god of self does not just hurt me, it hurts others, creating enmity between my friends and family. It’s time to let go of my mistakes so that I may focus on God’s plan.
Being nice to people who have hurt you is not an easy task. I’ve always been told to be the bigger person and to not ever let what someone else has done get the best of me, but then there’s always a part of me that wants to dislike that person with everything in me. Then there’s the beauty of grace and forgiveness. Even when it hurts the most, I will choose to still see the good in each and every person.
When I was younger, I used to try to make up for a wrong I committed to God and my parents. It would take days for me to feel like I had paid my penance. But the struggle continued. After I had felt like I had justified myself enough, I would find myself in the sin once again. That’s what happens when we think we are the forgiver/justifier/savior of ourselves. Not until I truly let God take these roles in my life He was meant for in the first place do I truly find freedom, deep redemptiveness, and true clarity for where I stand with God. It’s all about falling more in love with Jesus than just trying to avoid sin.
“What old hurts can you release so their throbbing doesn’t control your mood any longer?”
It is so hard to let release old hurts. Once we get hurt, we feel like we have the right to hold onto that hurt forever. I have a few old hurts that I’ve needed to get rid of for a while and I’m currently in the process of fully letting them go. I believe that once they are completely released, that they will not control my mood any longer.
Wow. Wouldn’t the world be better if we all did this..everyday? Too often i have found myself at Emmanuel, until this year, being comfortable and hiding in my own shell. Not necessarily going out of my way to make someone else happy, or truly making the community around me better. In the process of this, i have also not grown myself in key areas of my life. For example, involving myself with Godly men and women, or soaking in the emotional and relational foods I am in desperate need of. I have been satisfied with mediocre, and i declare right now that i am done with it once and for all. How am i to serve Jesus if i can’t get out of myself? I need to show my community/the world more of Jesus and less of myself.
Learning to love and reach out spite differences or disagreements is can be hard. It’s so much easier to stick with the people I’m comfortable with, yet the Lord has been convicting me of this. I can say hey so anywhere, anytime, but truly stopping and asking how someone is, or building that relationship is not so easy. Yet through the love of Christ, it can be done. We are called to be a community who breaks boundaries and lets Jesus be the center.
taking time to look back on my life and relationships really puts in perspective where i have come from and how God has constantly shown his grace and love towards me. but it also shows how i still have unforgiveness towards folks and how i still struggle with different aspects of my life. maybe these things will just need to take a little more time.
Forgetfulness usually replaces forgiveness in my life. I figure if I just suppress the memory of the pain and the person who caused it I’ll be okay. That’s not true forgiveness, nor is it fair to myself or the other person. Matthew 18 tells the story of The Unforgiving Debtor. He himself had been forgiven his debts but still held the debts owed him over his fellow servant ultimately ending him up in prison. We have been forgiven the greatest of debts, yet we hold those far more miniscule over the heads of others. Resulting in the entrapment of no one but ourselves in a prison of bitterness, hurt, anger and denial. To forgive is to free, not just the debtor but yourself as well.