Forgive, Forget and Focus

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Guest Post

by John Doyle

 
Does the Bible Instruct Us to Forgive and Forget, The answer is clearly in Gods Word.
 
If someone were to ask you to make a list of all of the people that hurt you or your family in past years, you will probably write out a long list of those who have caused you pain. These may even be family members, or friends, co-workers, even people from Church. So many friendships have been broken because of cruel words and actions that have left those who have been hurt feeling betrayed. Maybe your one of these people. It seems you never forget the hurt or the pain someone has caused you. Those feelings run deep. But how does the Lord want us to respond to people who hurt us? Does the Bible instruct us to forgive and forget?

We can turn to the Bible for answers to this question.
The phrase “forgive and forget” is not found in the Bible. However, there are numerous verses commanding us to “forgive one another” Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” A Christian who is unwilling to forgive others will find his fellowship with God hindered and it may reap bitterness.

Luke 6:27-36 (Please read this) also speaks on this issue. In some areas of Christian life we struggle to find out how God wants us to respond, but that’s not the case here. God’s instructions are detailed.
Jesus said, “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28). In the following verses, Jesus gives several specific examples of how to treat those who have hurt you, and He concludes with, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). The supreme standard is set here. Its not easy and it goes against how you may feel emotionally but its the Jesus way because “He is the Way, Truth and Life.”

It’s important that we apply Godly wisdom to all relationships we’re in. There are times when we will allow ourselves to endure unnecessary pain in relationships because we believe it’s our duty or because it brings us to a place of Meekness that honours the Christ in us. While God instructs us to take up our cross and follow Him, it’s important to discern what God is telling us through the pain we’re experiencing. The closer you become to reading and meditating on the Word of God, the more God will speak to you about the relationships you’re in. He may be calling you to realign some relationships. You may be around people who negatively influence your life. Painful words and violent tempers can create traps in your life that God may not be calling you to be part of. When you seek God concerning your relationships with others, you may also begin giving less of yourself to people addicted to gossip and slander, because being in that space is not not uplifting and does not reflect the Christ in you.

In these circumstances where you begin to limit the influence of the person that’s hurting you, it doesn’t mean that you will no longer love, forgive or pray for that person. It just means that you no longer allow them to take up so much space in your life. We know from Scripture that we are not our own, so regardless of how much we might love someone, including those who have hurt us, we must shift our interaction with them because our Lord tells us to.

When we know that we are not our own, we also recognise that things will show up in our lives that are completely outside of our control. God calls us to Forgive. As believers, we can choose whether we will hold grudges or apply Grace, but if we are truly following Him, the choice has already been made – GRACE. This can be tough but when we Focus on His Word and His Way, God provides wisdom to help us. Verses like 2 Corinthians 12:10 which says, “Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distressed, with persecutions, with difficulties for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

One of the best things we can do for those who hurt us is Pray for them. Many times we are not in a place to force the other person to stop their hurtful behavior. We also rarely have the power to change them, but we do have the power to change our response to that person. God tells us to PRAY for them. If you’re wondering what you should pray about, the answer is simple. Pray that God will help you to love this person. Pray that God will help you to see the good things He wants you to do to help this person to become more Christ Like. Pray that God will change the life of this person.

What’s so great about these prayers is that they FOCUS your attention on God. Instead of being consumed with the hurt, you focus on Him, the One who can heal the hurt, and give you the power to respond in a Godly way that will Honour to Him.

King David demonstrates this many times in the Psalms he wrote, speaking of the betrayal of friends and enemies – calling on God to punish them. When David was fleeing for his life because his son Absalom was leading a rebellion, a man named Shimei came out and cursed David and threw stones at him. When one of David’s generals asked permission to take off his head, David responded, leave Shimei alone, perhaps God has told him to curse me (2 Samuel 16:5-4). This is a powerful response in such a difficult time. David protects himself from sinning by trusting God and assuming that God’s plan is beyond his understanding. We can use David as a wonderful example in our own lives.

God wants us to trust Him regarding our relationships with others. Our best relationships are the ones that have Jesus at the center of them. It’s very possible that if a person is always hurting you, Jesus is not at the center of your relationship with them and that’s not healthy for your physical, emotional, mental or spiritual well-being. If God is not present in the relationship you’re in, it may be time to reevaluate the relationship and change the way you interact with that person.

The ideal is to Forgive and Forget and then FOCUS on God and His Word. It isn’t always easy to do, but good for our own emotional and spiritual well-being. Remember, Love keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthian 13:5) and covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). Be mindful of those around you who hurt you, and cling to those who Love you and have a desire to uplift you as a Believer in Christ Jesus.
 
In the Love of the Lord Jesus,
John and Barbara.
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Dave: Real to Me

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Guest Post

by Dave Griffiths

Real to Me

1/ I believe the BIBLE is the Word of God, and that the written instructions are the key to happiness.

2/ Contentment, is the ultimate goal in my life.

3/ I believe in myself, and in doing so, cherish Trust, Dignity, Respect, and Discipline.

4/ I am an ordinary Peculiar human being that needs to be Listened to, Understood, Forgiven, Appreciated, and Loved.

5/ I choose to Laugh, and have fun and enjoy my environment whenever possible.

6/ I am a Male by birth, but a Man by choice. As such, I have a duty to be the head of my home and family.

7/ I will strive towards Excellence in my chosen profession.

8/ I will exercise Integrity both in the workplace with my employer, and at home with my family and friends.

9/ My body is Fearfully and Wonderfully made, therefore it is vital that I should not abuse it, and that I should ensure that it is kept in good condition.

10/ It is an acceptable command for me to Love my neighbour, and to Care and Help in a practical way whenever possible.

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The Train Journey to a Godly Heritage

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Guest Post

by John Doyle

The word of God says that we are to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is older he will not depart from it” Proverbs 22:6.

It also says “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord” Psalm 127:3.

The word Heritage in the word of God refers to the receiving of an Inheritance… What is the greatest inheritance that God gave to you? I am sure you as a Father, Mother or and Grandfather, Grandmother will comprehensively say, My Children and my Grandchildren are the greatest inheritance from the Lord this side of Heaven.

Training up your children in the ways of the Lord is Quite a TRAIN Journey and it never really ends irrespective of the age of your Children and Grandchildren.

What does it Mean to Train Up a Child in the Way He Should Go? We do know that children left to their own way are not likely to change; they’ll become adults who go their own way and it will end up the wrong way. In Proverbs 22:15 it says “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child…” Many times children don’t tend to make the right choices and we have all been there so God has a plan for us in His Word.

This verse in Proverbs 22 isn’t just about the moral or spiritual direction of the child, but also about the Godly gifts and talents they have been given. As Parents part of the training is helping our children discover their purpose and direction in life. We have the unique role of helping children discover how God has equipped them and how they can use their gifts in a positive way that will bring glory to God.

We have an important responsibility as Parents. Throughout Scripture, God is clear about the responsibility He places in the hands of us as Parents. None is more clear than Deuteronomy 6:6-7: “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart, you shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk to them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

Its quite a TRAIN journey and as parents we are to teach our children what matters to God. Its not forcing them into a certain set of beliefs or rituals; rather, it means demonstrating a real Faith – A faith that puts the focus on Loving God and Loving others. My view is that there is no a greater purpose we can have in life than reflecting God’s image to our Children in the things we do and say. That’s part of the TRAIN journey and when we do our part as Parents the promise is that “when they are older, they will not depart for it.”

When writing to the Ephesians, Paul encourages the Church to be “imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God…” Eph. 5:1-2. That encourages us all and reminds us of how we are to Live and Love. Our children will know how to Live and Love the right life when they see it in the lives of their Parents knowing that they are followers of Christ.

Finally, let me encourage you to share this wonderful promise from Gods Word with your children:

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your Father and Mother which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and that you may live long in the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3

This verse when applied will touch the hearts of your children.

May the Lord bless you and your family and we trust you will have a wonderful TRAIN journey as you “train up your children in the ways of the Lord.”

In the Love of the Lord Jesus,

John and Barbara

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