The Power of Forgiveness

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The Power of Forgiveness

Who’s Really Hurting?

I think one of the most difficult steps of recovery is the need to forgive…a difficult concept to fully embrace. Sometimes we can get caught up in the idea that if we forgive someone who has hurt us deeply we are letting them off the hook. But the fact of the matter is that the act of forgiveness is for us, not for them.

In my quiet time I have been reading about the need for forgiveness. In the book of Matthew Jesus teaches about prayer. Part of that teaching is the well known “Lord’s Prayer” – Matthew 6:9 – 13, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Colossians 3:13 says in the New Living Translation, “You must make allowances for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”

So the study I am going through…”Living Beyond Yourself” by Beth Moore…gave me an interesting insight into the idea of ‘biblical forgiveness’. The Greek word for forgive is “aphiemi” which means “to let go from one’s power, possession, to let go free, let escape”. Quoting from the study…”The intent of biblical forgiveness is to cut someone loose. The word picture drawn by the Greek terms for unforgiveness is one in which the “unforgiven” is roped to the back of the back of the unforgiving (person). How ironic. Unforgiveness is the means by which we securely bind ourselves to that which we hate most. Therefore, the Greek meaning of forgiveness might best be demonstrated as the practice of cutting loose the person roped on your back.” This explanation clearly showed me why unforgiveness is so damaging. By not forgiving those who hurt us, we continue to drag them around with us wherever we go. That’s a lot of baggage to carry around. I understand why God wants us to forgive…it’s for our good. ~Marion

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Where is Your Focus?

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Storms of Life

Storms of Life

I was reading today in the book of Matthew about Jesus walking on water. You can read the story in Matthew 14:22-23. Jesus had sent the disciples by boat across the Sea of Galilee. He went off to pray while the disciples were traveling to the other side of the lake. However, the sea was very rough and for hours the waves tossed the boat about. I’m sure they were terrified, thinking they were going to drown. They became even more terrified when they saw someone walking on the water. They thought it was a ghost. Jesus immediately called out to them saying that it was Him, and not to be afraid. The enthusiastic, impulsive Peter called to Jesus and asked if he could come out on the water and meet Him. Jesus simply said, ‘Come.’ Peter stepped out and began walking on the water towards Jesus, but then he started looking at the waves around him and started to sink. Jesus immediately came to him and saved him, asking him, “Why did you doubt?” Peter had taken his eyes off of Jesus and began to sink. That is true of us, too. When in difficult and challenging circumstances we take our eyes off of Jesus and begin looking at the circumstances, we begin to sink…we become fearful, we try to figure out how to get out of the mess, and totally forget that God is in control. Why we do this to ourselves, I’ll never know. God loves us and can and will give us the courage to deal with all of the hard things in life if we ask Him to. We just need to keep our eyes on Him and stay focused. ~ Marion

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Fruit of the Spirit

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Fruit of the Spirit

Fruit of the Spirit

I was reading in the Celebrate Recovery Daily Devotional and read a great reminder of how to keep our recovery on track.  The comments are based on Galatians 5:22-23. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

“In recovery and in life, how do we know we are making progress?  The best way is to check ourselves daily to see if the fruit of the Spirit can be seen in our lives.  At the end of the day, we should ask ourselves these questions:

Was I loving toward anyone today?  Did anyone see God’s love in my life?  If so, how?  If not, why not?  Was I joyful today?  How did I respond in situations that tested my joy?  How is my serenity?  Did I allow anything to steal my peace?  Was I patient with others today?  Did anything cause me to lose my patience?  How kind was I today?  Did I act in an unkind way toward anyone?  Could I describe this day as “good”?  Have I demonstrated God’s goodness to others?  How was my faith today?  Did I act unfaithfully?  How was my gentleness?  If I needed to have a confrontation, was I gentle?  How was my self control?  Did I give in to something instead of standing firm?

Answering these questions might take some time at first, but soon they will become second nature to us, inspiring godly behavior and healthy habits.”

What a great way to keep our recovery on course! ~ Marion

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