He reached down from heaven and rescued me; He drew me out of deep waters. Psalm 18:16
Happy Thursday! I’m posting at lunch today. It’s a little later than usual because for some reason, I just can’t get my act together. Ever been there? In Florida it is getting colder by the minute. It was raining and 56 degrees when I took my dogs out this morning. Now, it is still drizzling rain and the temperature is dropping. There is a chance for snow on Saturday. We actually get a few flurries once in a while in Florida, believe it or not. However, it is the exception, not the rule. I was wearing shorts and flip flops just a couple of days ago.
Have you ever gone somewhere and everyone was talking wonderfully about a person that has been especially mean to you publicly on more than one occasion? Have you ever found out that your friends all like someone you don’t? Did you feel angry at them? Have you ever been around people who just get on your nerves. I’m talking about their hygiene, mannerisms, style, etc.? Hmmm. I’ve got some good news and some bad news. First, the bad news is the problem is with you. Ouch! Don’t feel bad, because I was enjoying this bitter tea earlier this week. I had to stop what I was doing, go somewhere quiet, and get right with God. Why? Well, first we know Jesus taught that loving our neighbors as ourselves is the second most important commandment (Matthew 22:39). It doesn’t matter what they do or say. You are responsible for you, not them. Everyone has different gifts to bring to the table. We need to love them for who they are and avoid judging. Do you remember what Jesus says about casting stones (John 8:7)? As the story goes, the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman before Jesus who had committed adultery. Under the Old Covenant, the punishment for adultery was stoning. Jesus explained that only people who had never done anything wrong (sinned) should cast stones. The ending is good. All the accusers left her and Jesus told her to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11). How many times have I gotten caught up in this type of behavior? Too many to count! Sound familiar? Jesus taught that we are to forgive others just like God forgives us (Matthew 6:14).
The good news is we can start right now. Just bow your head and get right with God. You can do it anywhere, and usually without anyone knowing. Forgive those who have done you wrong, and let go of grudges. While you are forgiving others, ask for forgiveness. Dismiss bitter talk and gossip. It makes matters worse. Don’t wish bad on someone who has done you wrong. That makes you wrong. Forgiveness is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. It frees your heart from bitterness. One of my favorite and most comforting verses says “and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). Every time I hear or read these words, I feel tremendous comfort. It’s peace beyond our understanding that we receive when we forgive. Isn’t that great!
Today and every day, join me in letting go of grudges and asking God for forgiveness. God bless you!