Saturday, July 25, 2015


Have you ever been hurt by someone? Or gotten into a fight with someone you thought was a friend? Was it verbal? Physical?  Have you ever said something you have regretted and wished you could take it back? Guilty on all counts here. I'm guessing you are too.

Do those arguments and fights still bother you when you remember them? Why is that do you think? Could it be because you haven't forgiven them? Or perhaps there was some truth in what they said and we just don't want to admit it?

I got in a fight in sixth grade once. Jimmy Fausbender. I don't remember what we were fighting about. All I remember is sitting on his chest at the end of the fight and punching him in the face. I never apologized or even cared about him afterwards. My main concern was not getting into trouble over it. But what about poor little Jimmy? Was he scarred for life because his wimpy friend Bob beat him up? Probably. How could he possibly live THAT down!?! Why do I still remember that fight?

Why do we do stuff like that? Why do we hurt each other? And why is it so hard to apologize afterwards? Psst. It's because we are human and we've got a sin problem.

I was blessed early on in my faith journey to hear my friend Gayle give her testimony in church. She quoted a verse from the Book of James which held a special meaning to her. It's very applicable to this topic so here it is:

"What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?" - James 4:1

When someone attacks what we believe or says something bad about us behind our back, what is our first response? Initially, we get angry. Then we might fight back if we are aggressive enough. If we have a passive personality we might withdraw into a shell and spend the day at our own pity party. There is only one way to get rid of the anger and the hurt - let it go and . . . here's the real key now . . . forgive.

If you want to learn a lot about yourself, read the Book of James. Read 1 John as well. Both books are short but they are packed with good, self-examination tips as well as ways to not only survive in this world but to thrive in it.

I have this theory. When ever we feel like somebody has wronged us, we will carry that hurt around with us until we find some way to get rid of it. Some people get rid of the pain by shutting others off, sometimes permanently. That's a mistake. I'm no psychiatrist but I do read my Bible. There's lots of good advice in there you know. B.I.B.L.E. - Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.

"21 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." - Matthew 18:21-22

Seventy times seven? I'm no mathematician either but according to my calculator that's 490 times! I think what Jesus was REALLY trying to tell Peter was that we should ALWAYS forgive those who sin against us. God does that for us, right? And how many times does He forgive us? Probably WAY more than 490 times.

There are many hidden scars deep inside each of us that come blurting out upon occasion. We have all been guilty about saying something about someone only to have it come right back and bite us in the butt. But we Christians are the ones who are supposed to be know by our love.

Please, read the Book of James. Read the Book of 1 John. Listen for God's Holy Spirit as He convicts you. Be teachable in this.  When James tells us to "be slow to speak," do it! When John tells us to love one another, that's NOT a suggestion. It's a command!

I have found that there are two things that will heal just about any broken relationship - love and . . . 

Forgiveness - Matthew West

"Forgiveness can set someone free, and quite often that person is you ." - Me, 2015

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