Like a speeding vehicle with no brakes…delicious food that one is allergic to…accumulated wealth that is illegit…an affair outside the boundaries of marriage…
The rash!…is the common denominator in all the above.That ‘goosebumpy’ feeling that comes with the temporary pleasure…it’s ecstatic! Feels like an all time high,but…
All the above scenarios end in death,injury, allergic reactions, bankruptcy, frustration,divorce and the like.Someone called Robert Menzies once said,“It is a simple but sometimes forgotten truth that the greatest enemy to present joy and high hopes is the cultivation of retrospective bitterness”…You can now guess where I am headed with this right?…Aha!
There is that feeling of ‘superiority’ when one holds a grudge against another.Your thoughts go like, “He/she should apologize first,then we can talk.” With such an attitude cultivated in your heart,you live a miserable life.You give the other so much power,when your life is at the verge of an accident like that speeding vehicle with no brakes.
One keeps hoping to get an apology from the other and yet the other might not know he/she offended you in any way and if they do know, they didn’t take it to heart and have therefore moved on since… You stalk them on Twitter,Facebook,Instagram, Linked In,Watsapp,Snapchat and many more…your face ‘turns red’ every time you see them happy,relaxed,hanging out with friends, growing their careers… You die inside. You see this person who ‘owes you’ and instead of doing what you expect,they smile at you,wave and pass you by.What comes to mind is an opportunity to grab this person by the neck,strangle them and demand for ‘pay’ because they ‘owe you’…an apology.
Picture this…you eat,walk,talk,think, read and sleep them!Your world literally revolves around them!…Chances of redirecting your anger and frustration to people so close to you are very high and at the end of it all…You repel everyone around you including your family…all alone,you are surrounded by nothing but darkness…in your prison of bitterness.Then in sets depression and suicidal thoughts, aggression and passivity…In sets doom and gloom because of that one person who owes you an apology.
Which one is easier friends?… Forgive and move on with your life or die in bitterness?
‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth'(Exodus 21:23-25)…is the most misused verse in the Bible and this has formed the genesis of many miserable lives and guess what?…It is President Trumps’ favourite Bible verse!…Wa!…Now I know where he gets his negative energy!!!…Pun Intended!
Let’s look at all this through the eyes of the Master,Jesus. In Matthew 5:17 He says, “Do not think I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.” This explains how consistent the Bible is.Scripture does explain scripture. Is Jesus therefore for pay-back?…Let’s delve deeper into this by looking at Verse 38; “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for an eye and tooth for tooth’ but I tell you,do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek,turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic;let him have your cloak as well.If someone forces you to go one mile,go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”
Is Jesus saying here that it is okay to be ‘stepped on’ or mistreated? No.He is looking at Justice in light of love beyond human limitations, such that one does not have to repay wrong for wrong… Because love covers a multitude of sins(1 Peter 4:8)…I know how haaaard this can get sometimes or most of the times, but if Jesus instructed this,then it is doable.I came across an article on Bible.org where the writer states,“…the only way to deal with an especially daunting task or relationship is by studying the directions in God’s word”
Jimmy Gait was being interviewed by Anita Nderu last Friday on The Trend(NTV) about how he was able to deal with the lashing he got on social media,especially Twitter,where he trended for days!This was an opportunity presented to Jimmy Gait to show the tongue-lashers a piece of his mind but instead the opposite happened. When he makes a come-back,He does so with a beautiful single on love. I am double sure that he was tempted to lash back time and again but he did not.He chose to forgive and start over and this time round on the foundation of love!
It is the people we care about most or trust most that can turn to be our worst enemies…but if we love each other deeply as per 1Pet 4:8,then we will not afford to live our lives based on “I don’t get mad,I get even” or “If they do anything bad to you at all,finish them off before they can do anything worse”… Instead, we will forgive them as Jesus forgave those who crucified him!…It is never easy,not even for me and this is where intentionality and prayerfulness comes in.Ask God to help you and trust you me, He will😇
Proverbs 25:21-22 says, “If your enemy is hungry,give him food to eat;if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.In doing this,you will heap burning coals on his head and the Lord will reward you”
It took me a veeeery veeeery looooong time to forgive those who offended me and those I thought offended me,but here I am today confident to share with you that forgiveness is liberating!It opens that prison door one puts him/herself in and ushers in light in a dark world…in your world.
Let go…lay your burdens at the foot of the Cross where ‘Grace and suffering meet…and wear forgiveness like a crown’…so the beautiful song goes.Do not jeopardise your joy and high hopes by hoarding bitterness in your heart.You do not hurt the other but yourself and so, talk to someone,open up,seek help…approach,SMS,call,email,whatsapp that one person you feel offended you and just-let-go.
Steve Maraboli once said, “The truth is,unless you let go,unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over,you cannot move forward”
Listen/read/watch the stories or narrations of those who have been on a journey of forgiveness and you will agree with me that it is liberating!
My prayer for you today and always is that God grants you the grace and courage to forgive from deep down within you,even as you cultivate the beautiful and powerful fruit called love.😃
Have an awesome week full of liberating forgiveness and love.
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