What I’ve Learned (or relearned) from the last two years

18 Mar

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God has changed the tone of this blog.

Seriously.

I was thinking about events from the past two years and I had decided that I had to do something before I exploded.

I have had friends turn on me causing probably the most heartbreaking event of my life that still has me in knots.

I have had family members make judgment calls as to why it happened (based on the three weeks a year we see them).

Pastoring can be an interesting thing when it comes to relationships.  You can pour your life into someone, be there for them in their worst times, go to bat for them.. and all of a sudden, you make a mistake or there is a misunderstanding and they won’t even speak to you… you are persona non grata.

And it hurts.

So I was going to write a long blog. I was not going to name names but I was definitely going to go on the attack. I was going to spew venom and vile (like in some cases has happened to me). I was going to justify it because there was a need to “get things off my chest.”

But honestly, what good would it do? It would only serve to make some relationships worse. It would make angry people angrier. It would cause more gossip, more dissension, more heartache.

I believe that every bit of pain that I feel is legit.  But I also don’t believe we are meant to dwell on that.  We are not meant to worry.

Luke 12:25…And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span?

Phillipians 4:6… Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

And finally…

Ephesians 4:26..Be angry, and yet do not sin

If I let it sit and fester, I start forgetting who I am.  A minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One who is supposed to be concerned about the condition of a soul rather than the condition of my heart.  If I stir in my anger, I become self-focused. I find my prayers are all about me (and my family) and have nothing to do with the lost person down the road, the hurting couple, the suicidal child, the struggling senior adult. Suddenly, I’m delivering a speech on Sunday morning and not a sermon.

And then the problem becomes bigger than just being peeved at a few people (well, make that downright ticked!). It becomes disobedience to my calling. It becomes dishonoring of my Savior.

It becomes missed opportunities to be Jesus to others.

That is way more serious.

So I have to practice what I preach. You see, when someone comes to me with deep wounds, and even anger that I can understand, I tell them to practice what I call “habitual daily forgiveness.”

It’s simple. Just get up and say “I forgive______________________ today.  I cannot guarantee tomorrow but for the next 24 hours, I will not hold any bad feelings or dwell on the hurt that they inflicted on me.”

Then the next morning, get up and do the same thing.

Pretty soon, you find yourself developing a very worthwhile habit.

And before you know it, your focus is back where it needs to be.

On the one who said “Father, forgive them… love one another as I have loved you.”

And they don’t win.

But He does.

I’m wanting to cry, I’m falling apart

I can’t believe this has happened, you really hurt my heart.

My mouth wants to spew out venom and vile,

But I must curb it, remember all the while.

 

It’s really all about Him.

I will not give into the temptation of sin.

I won’t look at the hurt, I’ll look to my Lord

I’ll not stew in anger but I’ll stay in the Word.

 

I’ve replayed it in my mind, me chewing you out.

Clobbering you good with one fist to the snout

But if I were to give in, what good would it do?

I would dishonor my Savior by lashing out at you.

 

So, what do I do? When I’m feeling this way?

I practice forgiveness and lift my voice in praise.

Praise to the Father, the Spirit and Son.

Whom I will serve faithfully…both here and beyond.

 

(pic thrown in for humor)

 

 

 

 

 

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