Cross, Forgive, blame, anger, turn cheek, hurt, prayer,, love

I want to follow Christ

 

Lord God,
I want to follow Christ –
Please teach me 
How to think.

      Don’t judge, reject, 
      Hate, or condemn;
      Make finding fault
      Extinct. 

Lord God,
I want to follow Christ –
Please tell me 
What to say.

      Apologise to those 
      You hurt; 
      And speak the truth 
      Each day. 

Lord God,
I want to follow Christ –
Please show me 
What to do.

      Take up your cross;
      Love everyone; 
      Forgive those 
      Who hurt you. 

 

References 

We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5; NIV). 

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you (Luke 6:37; NLT).

How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye (Luke 6:42; NLT).

They kept demanding an answer, so he [Jesus] stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” (John 8:7; NLT).

If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:23-4; NIV). 

We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

Take up your cross and follow me (Matthew 16:24; NLT).

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them (Romans 12.9; NLT).

When you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too (Mark 11:25; NLT). 

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Forgive, blame, anger, turn cheek, hurt, prayer,, healing, Lent, love, Prayer

Mirror-image Lent reflections

 

1. We have hurt others

Heal them, Lord,
The people we have damaged.

Heal them, Lord,  
Until they can forgive.

Heal them, Lord,
Till they no longer hate us.

Heal us, Lord, 
So all may fully live.

 

2. Others have hurt us 

Heal us, Lord,
Till we love those who’ve hurt us.

Heal us, Lord, 
Until we can forgive.

Heal us, Lord,
Till we no longer hate them. 

Heal us, Lord,
So all may fully live.

 

References

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us (Luke 11:4; NLT).

We have all sinned against you (Jeremiah 14:20; NLT).

Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing (Luke 23:34; NLT).

Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you (Luke 6:28; NLT).

Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her (John 8:7; RSV).

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10; NIV). 

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Forgive, blame, anger, turn cheek, hurt, prayer,, Prayer

Learn to love

You give me 
Every breath, Lord,
Every heartbeat,

Each joy,
Each sorrow –
All I need to grow.

Please help me
As I learn 
To love my neighbour.

Please help me
As I learn 
To love my foe.

 

References 

He himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else (Acts 17:25; NIV).

Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realise that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life (Ecclesiastes 7:14; NLT).

When your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow (James 1:3; NLT).

Love your neighbour as yourself (Matthew 22:39; NIV).

Love your enemies (Matthew 5:44; NIV).

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Forgive, blame, anger, turn cheek, hurt, prayer,

Daily prayer

Lord, 

May I grasp what’s private,
And respect it; 

Confess each sin to you
Immediately; 

Say sorry 
When I hurt another person, 

And hurry to forgive 
Those who hurt me.  

 

References

A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence (Proverbs 11:13; NLT).

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9; RSV). 

If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:23-4; NIV). 

If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matthew 6:14-15; NLT).

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Letting go and speaking out

If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also (Matthew 5:39; NLT).

If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them, and if they repent, forgive them (Luke 17:3; NIV).

 

I have always been puzzled by these two apparently contradictory teachings of Jesus. The first suggests we should silently respond to being hurt with acceptance and forgiveness. It includes no suggestion that further action is needed in order to restore the relationship.  

The second saying, on the other hand, indicates that we should respond to being hurt by approaching the person concerned, speaking out about how we have been affected, and expecting an apology in order to be reconciled.

For many years, I have wondered how to distinguish between the concerns I can let go, as in the first quotation, and those I need to address with the person concerned, as in the second. Today’s blog summarises what I have learned.

When I have an issue with someone, but believe it’s mainly about me, not them, I begin by dealing with it internally, through prayer. For example, if someone has hurt me, I say nothing, and work to forgive them. Then I try to let the matter go.

However, if the issue continues to nag at my mind, stirring up negative emotions, this tells me I need to address it directly with the person concerned. 

Constant awareness of my feelings enables me to decide how, and when, to address each issue, rather than allowing matters to fester at the back of my mind. Starting the resolution process by contacting the other person and explaining the issue straightforwardly, is, in itself, a great relief. Once such action becomes necessary, there is no substitute for speaking the truth in love, using whatever means of communication seems most appropriate. 

Whatever the final outcome, being able to raise difficult matters directly is a very significant part of our life-long process of inner healing and emotional maturation. So, when letting go doesn’t work, the way forward is to speak the truth in love. This is how I work to restore my peace of mind, and build a genuine connection with those who hurt me. 

 

References 

Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing (Luke 23:34; NLT).

We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

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We are one

 

Lord,

Every time I fail 
To love my neighbour,
Help me to remember
We are one.

Every time I fail
To love a foreigner,  
Help me to remember
We are one.

Every time I fail 
To love a stranger,
Help me to remember
We are one.

And every time I fail 
To love my enemy,  
Help me to remember
We are one. 

 

References

Love your neighbour (Mark 12:31; NLT).

Show love to foreigners (Deuteronomy 10:19; NLT).

Love ye therefore the stranger (Deuteronomy 10:19; KJV).

Love your enemies (Matthew 5:44; NLT).

You are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28; NLT).

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My heart is full of worries

My heart is full of worries, Lord,
Concerns I can’t subdue;

Resentment, fear, remorse, and shame –
I don’t know what to do.

So these become my prayers, Lord,
And I share them all with you;

We work on them together,   
Talking every problem through. 

Then my poor mind grows clearer
As your way comes into view;

My plans are laid; my heart grows light;
And your peace falls like dew. 

 

References 

I am poor and needy, and my heart is full of pain (Psalm 109:22; NLT).

O God, you know how foolish I am; my sins cannot be hidden from you (Psalm 69:5; NLT).

Make your way plain for me to follow (Pslam 5:8; NLT).

The peace I give is a gift the world cannot give (John 14:27; NLT).

I will be to Israel like a refreshing dew from heaven (Hosea 14:5; NLT).

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