quarta-feira, 13 de agosto de 2014

FORGIVING AND BEING FORGIVEN


So many times have I shared about this issue before! So many times has God allowed me to forgive someone and feel His forgiveness in my life! So many times! And more opportunities He gives me every day. More time with family will do just that! Yes, my family is the first one that I need to forgive on a daily basis. They are also the first ones who have to extend grace towards me.

Each one of us has our “idiosincrasies.” You know, those things that make us unique! Those things that we can’t really explain, like, ‘I can’t touch that glass,’ or ‘I make my bed using the ‘envelope’ style,’ or ‘how can someone not do it the way I do it.’ And many other little habits that we start from birth and take to the grave. Those are the things that make us unique. Those are the things that people cannot understand. Those are the things that only God knows and understands about us.
So, as we make new friends and as we spend more time with them, those opportunities to forgive and to be forgiven will show up, sooner or later. If we are “real” they will show up sooner than later – we might have tough experiences, but we will also grow from them. If we are “not real” they may never show up - those are the “smoothiest” relationships. But for people like me, who has no fear of sharing what I think or feel (with many people, not with everyone, though), we tend to attract those who are like-minded and we tend to repel those who can’t understand us or really can’t “stand” being around us.

I do “understand” how some people might not like nor enjoy being around people who are “real” and whose personalities might seem the “confrontational” type. I do “understand” how some people might not like nor enjoy being around people who talk too much (been there, done that) or even people who talk too little (sometimes it can be very uncomfortable). What I can’t “stand” is people who run from “confrontation” and live a life that seems to be “out” of this world. I can’t stand people who talk too much about themselves and listen too little to others. I can’t stand myself, sometimes, when I get into those wrong modes or attitudes that lead me away from people or send the wrong message that I don’t love them. Well, since I’m not perfect and since I need many people’s forgiveness as well as I need to forgive so many on a daily basis, I decided to sit down and write about this issue again.
You see, while alive on planet earth we will have relationships! Having healthy relationships require that we know ourselves well so that we can learn about others well. Knowing ourselves well require that we spend time with God and allow Him to show us our own flaws. When we allow God to show us our flaws, we also accept His healing. When we accept His healing, then we are prone to extend that same grace and healing toward others. The story comes full circle when others forgive us for our wrong doing, wrong sayings, wrong thinking, wrong attitudes, shortcomings and idiosincrasies.

God, being God, has the right to not forgive us, if He decides so. At the same time, He will not do that because God is love, gracious and forgiving! He will not do something that goes against His own character. Any time we come to God with a repentant heart, He will accept us, forgive us and heal us. So, if God has forgiven you, why not forgive others? Are we better than others? If God has extended grace towards us, why not do the same for others? If God patiently works with us and waits that we see what He sees, why don’t we treat others patiently? I used to have very short tolerance towards people’s mistakes and even towards my own mistakes. I used to be a “perfectionist!” I used to be an “abide by the laws” type of person until the day I had an encounter with God and He started working on my character, showing my flaws, showing my imperfections and also my idiosincrasies. Then, He started teaching me a new way of life, a new lifestyle, a lifestyle of forgiveness. A lifestyle, in which, I receive and accept His grace first thing each morning - that sets the tone for the whole day and determines how I treat others. A lifestyle through which I show love towards others by serving them and not pointing fingers when they mess up. A lifestyle of a giver not a taker!
How do you want to live your life? As a sucker - sucking life of everyone around you? Complaining about your relationships to each new friend you make? Complaining about your family members? Or, do you want a life of a giver? A giver of love, giver of grace, giver of gifts, giver of everything? Remember, the more you give, the more others will give to you! The more you for-give, the more others will for-give you.


GIVE
FOR-GIVE
GIVEN
FOR-GIVEN

Neide Colson.

 

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