UpBeat Spiritual Living: As We Forgive Others
©2012 by Kebba Buckley Button. World Rights Reserved.
Faith is energized by love. We can’t expect our prayers to be answered if we’re angry with someone or have unforgiveness in our heart. –Joyce Meyer
So what is in your heart today? I’ll wait. … … If you’re not sure what’s in your heart today, go get your journal, ask yourself the question again, and start writing. Still stuck? Look at the most adorable pet you own or have ever seen, and try again. Is your heart stuck, or is your heart open and flowing God’s love for adorable pets, fresh bread, lovely gardens, 75 degrees and blue skies, and even our fellow man/people?
If your heart is not open and flowing, what’s stuck in there? Do you disapprove of someone’s actions? Did someone say something unfair about you? Does someone act in hurtful ways toward you or your child, routinely? Does someone owe you money? Do you owe someone money and you’re feeling guilty? These feelings are a burden to you, and not to the people you’re thinking about. Could your feelings be subtitled, “harrumph”?
Saint Augustine said, “Resentment is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies.”
If you are often nagged by thoughts of a particular person and bothered by their choices, they are living rent-free in your brain. You are the only one who can choose to evict this person from your brain, especially if they never asked to be living there rent-free anyway. Someone I know of has been dating a convicted felon; how does your heart feel about that? The man is convicted of sexual offenses against a youthful female. How does your heart feel about that? The woman teaches children. Now how does your heart feel? My heart had some challenges with this one. I felt heavy and stuck for some time. Now I realize that’s not my job. My job is to let it go and let God do God’s job: managing others. I need to bless and release my own feelings as well as that situation. Of course I can pray for the highest and best for that situation.
Someone has owed me money for a long time, hundreds borrowed for a project years ago. I now believe he will never pay me. However, sometimes I think of that money and how it would now be equivalent to thousands, with accumulated interest. My heart feels heavy when I think of it. There is still some forgiveness needed there, until I feel light and have no attachments to those memories.
Jesus told us to pray what we now call The Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13). This prayer contains the line: “and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”, or the broader translation, “and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” So our wrongs will be forgiven in proportion to the forgiveness we offer others, who may or may not “owe” us.
Are you holding something in your heart that needs to be forgiven? Pray about that, journal about that, and release that. You will be releasing yourself and energizing your faith. Why not work on that now? It’s your life.
● Rev. Kebba Buckley Button is the author of the 2012 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core.
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