So, after a bit of thought and mild promptings from friends, I’ve decided to add another category to my blog. I figure i can’t have a blog about things that make my heart sing without including God. So I’ve decided to share some of my spiritual revelations too! *cheer*
This, my first entry in the “Spiritual” category, is something that i was reminded about during Alan Bogart’s preach last night at my home church: New Covenant Church in Bryanston. He had me laughing so hard i could barely breath, and I eventually had to use a tissue to help get rid of the tears that were pouring down my face, but his teaching on family and fights and forgiveness reminded me of something that God taught me a while ago.
Ephesians 4:36 says “don’t let your anger cause you to sin”. At first i thought this meant “if you are angry with someone, please don’t kill them.” The word “sin” automatically made me think of the 10 commandments, and then obviously murder. (OBVIOUSLY) I mean, after all, we’ve all used the phrase “I’M SO ANGRY I COULD KILL HIM/HER”. But then i remembered that Jesus said “a new commandment i give unto you, that you love one another … ” and that got me thinking. If the most important thing that we can do is love, then surely NOT loving is a sin? And since we love people with our thoughts, our mouths and our actions, these are the things we need to control.
So now when i remember the verse “do not let your anger cause you to sin” … I know it means that, even if i’m REALLY REALLY mad at someone, i need to STILL love them with my thoughts, my mouth and my actions. I need to still respect them, i still need to speak highly and respectfully of them to others and not gossip about them or swear at them, and i definitely should not attempt to murder them. And last but not least, we need to forgive.
“FORGIVE AND FORGET” they say, and I often hear people say that they can forgive but they can’t forget. Other people say they’ll never forgive. But I don’t think we understand what “forgive and forget” means. As a Christian, we have been forgiven – through Jesus – for every sin we’ve committed, and all the sins we WILL commit, and that is the attitude we should have toward others. Flip, that’s a tough attitude to have, to have already decided to forgive those who will no doubt hurt us in the future, and keep our minds in a forgiving “mode”. It’s in our sinful nature to want revenge and hold grudges. I stood on my cat’s tail yesterday, and he SCREECHED with pain, but two minutes later jumped on my lap, purring, as if i’d never done a thing to hurt him. All was forgotten. Which brings me to the “FORGET” part.
It’s impossible to forget what people have done to you. We can’t erase our memory, block it out of our minds, or hypnotise ourselves to create the illusion that it never happened, that’s not what forgetting means. I believe that what you forget, is not the action, but the pain it caused. We forget how much that person’s action hurt us. For example: I remember crying my eyes out when i was 8 and someone at the ninja turtle off my birthday cake, but now i laugh at what was then, the most upsetting scenario… I think back to when i was 16 and my best friend kissed the boy i liked, i remember how devastated i was, but it doesn’t hurt anymore. I’m sure just about every women that gives birth swears she’ll never have another child, but sure enough they forget the pain over and over again!
I know that sometimes the scenario is a lot more serious than first loves and ninja turtle cakes… it seems almost impossible to look at the crime in our country with a forgiving attitude, especially when it has personally effected you or your loved ones. But nothing is impossible with God. There’s no way men and women would be able to stand victoriously over crime or abuse, without knowing the healing power of our God. A God that would never ask us to do something He’s not willing to help us with, or that Jesus didn’t overcome. We just need to make the choice, and open our hearts up to be worked on by our Almighty Father!
We make the decision to forgive, and God will work on the forgetting part 🙂