This Monday evening, my 3 year old accompanied me to the store for our weekly grocery trip. She announced that she wanted to have a birthday party and needed a cake and candles. For $6 we were able to get just what she wanted - a decorated cake from Jay C. That evening, we set up her Mickey Mouse table and chairs, pulled out all the dolls, invited her big sister to attend, and we had a party complete with "re-gifted" presents.
What's keeping you from celebrating this week? Is it a co-worker that seems to make life at work miserable? Is it bitterness over a FB post that left you feeling like you were the target even though you aren't for sure? Is it regret over the way you handled a situation two weeks ago? Is it a broken promise, an unpaid debt, a setback in your recovery?
Let me offer you three Rs to get you back on track. You might even find this a reason in and of its self to celebrate this week:
1. Reveal your hurt. There is no closure until there is disclosure. We have to admit, reveal, own up to the truth. "That hurt. It was wrong, and it hurt me." So admit you're hurt and write it down so it's not this fuzzy thing that you resent, but it's specific. Think about that teacher who embarrassed you or that parent who said "You will never amount to anything and you're a failure." That former relationship that was unfaithful to you.
2. Release the offender. Let them go. Stop holding on to the hurt. There are three questions that come immediately to mind with this second R: When do I release the offender? You do it now. How Often? Forgiveness isn't a one time deal. You forgive again and again until you have fully released the offender. How do I know when I have released someone? When the pain goes away and I can sincerely ask God's blessing on their life.
3. Replace your hurt with God's peace. Our problem with forgiveness is that it most of the time doesn't seem fair. Let's be honest, we want the other person to suffer. And the reason we want the other person to suffer is that we are suffering. The fact is, relationships can tear our heart into pieces. But God can glue those pieces back together and cover our heart with peace. But we have to free him to do it and forgiveness is the key to freeing God to do that needed repair. The bible commands us to "Let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts." (Colossians 3:15)(NIV). Granting forgiveness to others frees us to live abundantly and even celebrate the smallest moments.
Want to know more about forgiveness and making amends? Join us at MCC this weekend as we continue our Life Between Sunday's series. This you won't regret.