We can heal when we allow love to pacify our hearts. Only then can we learn to listen to our thoughts, examine them with a loving and forgiving heart and heal with a grateful spirit.
This Sunday, January 5th, I will be 6 years old.
It’s been six years since I cried for help and the One who made me answered me. I shared about my conversion in the post God healed overnight what therapy couldn’t heal in years.
It all sounds wonderful, but after we are born into eternity, we still need to follow a guide. Six months into my conversion, I was so misguided. Instead of focusing on the powerful Word that had healed me overnight, I followed all sorts of spiritual paths.
These spiritual paths presented themselves through people who were even more misguided than I was. I wasn’t peaceful and neither were they, in spite of appearances. Truth is we never know what peace really is like until we taste it.
This peace doesn’t come out of our own efforts, so meditation or rituals are simply bandaids. There is only one way to feel the inexplicable peace that the sovereign of all life can give us.
I hadn’t found the way, so I continued to walk multiple paths thinking that was a wise idea. And it was only when I turned back from this “world of possibilities” and went back to the Word that I found the peace I had been looking for.
Genuine peace is a gift from God. We receive it when we accept his calling, believe in him and follow his guidance.
And this is where many of us stumble.
We are not called to tell others how to live their lives. That would be a violation of the freedom that our sovereign Lord has granted us. Even when we talk about how we choose to live, we should be mindful that we are not boasting about it or making it sound as though we are an example for others. We are not.
Jesus is the example. He is our way, our truth and our life.
I pray that we continue to walk humbly as we follow Jesus. May he give us understanding to steer clear from telling others how to live, and instead welcome, encourage and love one another.
Genuine repentance, sincere and fruitful, produces change of mind, attitude and posture. But we are only capable of repentance when God forgives us.
God’s forgiveness is what produces repentance.
The blessing of repentance comes from God. He crushes us, provoking our heart. He knows us, he wants us, and he forgave us through Jesus across time and space.
Yet we are creatures of spacetime and, every time we sin, we need his eternal forgiveness to provoke our repentance.
Repentance is always preceded by divine forgiveness. We have to be crushed by God’s sovereign forgiveness that turns us inside out to surrender. As we surrender, we are transformed.
Our spirit recognizes a sovereignty that comes before any human conclusion. So even those who don’t genuinely believe in God experience repentance. Repentance is God’s power at play.
When we repent, we know that God has forgiven us.
Today I was having lunch with a small group of fellow believers and that last song the musicians played before the Titanic sank was playing in the background.
Funnily enough, I was inspired by Jack to give this title to my post: Make each day count.
For a Christian, there really is no need to look at time as opportunity for new beginnings or look back with sadness upon realizing times haven’t been the happiest.
As Christians, we realize that the opportunity is eternally inside of us – it’s Jesus inhabiting us and filling us with love.
We transcend spacetime through God’s grace and understand that everything we have done and will still do is part of God’s plan to transform us and bring us into eternity with a renewed spirit.
We know that we are forgiven for everything we have done and everything we are still going to do.
We are free!
It is always a new year and a new beginning for us as we’ve been set free.
So make each day count. And enjoy your inner new beginnings each day!
Forgiving is not just about doing good to others, it is also about setting ourselves free from the very strong and very unhealthy bond that resentment creates.
It is easier to visualize this in a specific context from real life: You know “Anna”, that friend of yours that you don’t forgive for something she’s done that hurt you? By not forgiving Anna, you actually empower her to hold you hostage to that hurt for much, much longer.
It is so much healthier to forgive Anna: you don’t even need to tell her you’ve forgiven her or bring her back into your life.
Forgiveness is all about conscious actions and quickly becomes a very constructive attitude towards life. Once you’ve forgiven Anna, you will feel progressively more peaceful and empowered to manage your relationships better.
Forgiving her makes your life easier because you won’t have to deal with those negative emotions that might otherwise make you bitter. We all know how negativity works.
Another very important thing: forgiveness is not just for people that you think are ‘good’ or ‘deserving’ of forgiveness. It is for everyone, or else it embeds judgment and becomes tyrannical. But I’ll explore this very interesting topic further in my next posting.