Thursday, July 16, 2009

Forgive and Forget

For me, forgiving and forgetting are perhaps the two most difficult acts for me to accomplish. There are so many aspects involved; Confessing to God and asking forgiveness, forgiving others of their trespasses, forgiving ourselves, and finally moving on......and forgetting. Because of the life I lived, run by drugs and alcohol, forgiving and forgetting are one of the more difficult parts of my journey. I am constantly finding my thoughts drifting back to times past.....remembering my sins and my trespasses and those that trespassed against me. I still find myself confronted by new sins and new trespasses.

MY Life MY Sin
Today, I deal much better with forgiving and forgetting my sins. I pray and ask for forgiveness every night. The sins I commit through out the day, I can honestly say I try to avoid. For example: Advertisers love to use ‘sex’ to sell their products. I do my very best not to have a lustful heart. No matter how my individual battles with sin turn out, I can honestly say that I feel God’s presence in my life. God knows I am trying and that alone makes my journey an easier one.

My Life, Their Sin
Just thinking about this is enough to draw my face tight and clench my teeth together. This, for me, has by far been the most difficult part......especially when someone else’s trespass or sin has affected me in a negative way. I’ve been directly lied to, found my past girlfriend in bed with other men, been robbed, been beaten, and been falsely accused. I’ve even been reported to the police. Many of these trespass were by people whom I thought to be my friends. With all this, it is amazing I have people in my life I still call friend. On the other hand, I have been on the opposite side of all those situations (except reporting someone to the police). I have been the lover begging for forgiveness and I certainly have lied over and over again to my friends and family.

How I Handle It
I don’t dwell on the past, I don’t gossip about it, and I don’t throw it back in the person’s face. Following those three ‘don’t's' and you are on your way to achieving your goal of forgiving and forgetting. EPH 4:32 says.....Forgive each other....and when I think about it now as a Christian.....I conclude that I have NO right to withhold forgiveness from anyone. Men, like myself, beat and hung the Son of Men, Jesus, on a cross to die. Still, God forgave us. Jesus, after that ugly calcification, still forgave us. This is a perfect example of not only, “do as I say” but “do as I do”.
Furthermore, Jesus provided us with a bridge. A bridge which allows us to come back to God and repent our sins. Isa 1:18 says....“He will make us white as wool”. God chooses to forgive us of our sines and he chooses to no longer remember our stained past. I choose to do the same. In closing, I most proclaim to all those it concerns that.......In Jesus’ name, I forgive you......In Jesus’ name, I choose to no longer remember. Your debt with me is settled my friends, now please go make your peace with God.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

"Holy Hopes To Be"

The first book I ever read in the Bible was Job. I know, nice choice...right? I understand the book’s point well enough; We have to preserver in times of difficulties. What really bothered me for years, up until recently, was why God would let Satan put such a righteous man through all that suffering. To me, it seemed like God made a bet with Satan saying, “You can’t break this one.”. I was appalled, to say the least. Through faithful daily reading of my bible, I have learned there are deeper philosophies at work. Some of these philosophies are at the very edges of human understanding.

When good people suffer, the spirit struggles to understand. Why does God allow such injustice? In theory, some could argue that this is why the Christian religion is flawed. However; the book of Job, shows that suffering is an opportunity to exercise what true Godliness is to human beings. God always wants to be in harmony with humans, whereas, Satan always strives for discord. Satan’s goal is to drive a permanent wedge between God and his In Job, Satan comes to God with the ultimate challenge, claiming that humans love the “gifts” of God rather than loving God himself. Satan charges that humans only try to please God for the benefits that come from God being pleased. This accusation strikes at the root of human materialism and cannot be ignored. Because of this challenge, God allows Satan to use righteous Job as his “test” subject. Should Job fail and curse God, creation and redemption will be shown to be greatly flawed. God would have no other option, but to condemn humanity. Job, through his trials, is overwhelmed by feelings of anguish, confusion, and anger. But.......he never rebukes God. Instead, his deepest pain seems to be from God’s apparent alienation. Thankfully, Job’s Godliness is vindicated and Satan is silenced. What I try to keep in mind, is that Job was not like Jesus. Job’s pain and suffering were not meant to be an atonement for us all.

Satan still roams the earth tempting humans with sin and allowing them to bring suffering upon themselves. I guess, what I have learned from Job, is once again to not be so self centered. I have to remember that, until Jesus’ second coming, a bitter battle ensues above, below, and all around us. Satan’s minions and God’s angels are constantly at war, fighting for our individual souls. Everyday we have to put forth the effort to support the good side of the war by resisting temptation. I know that my remaining days will not be all “peaches and cream” because I found Jesus. The question is, “Can I preserver in the face of suffering as Job did?”. Will I rely on my new found faith to bring me through? I can only know the answer to these questions through time, and suffering, and pain..........but, I stand at the ready in prayer and in “holy hopes to be”.