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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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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A holy faith



As you build yourselves up in your most holy faith,
praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the
love of God, waiting expectantly for the mercy of
our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life
(Jude 1:20-21; CSB).


We cannot build a holy faith  
By judging those who don't behave like us.

We cannot build a holy faith
By hating those who don't agree with us.

We cannot build a holy faith    
By killing those who don't share our beliefs.

We only build a holy faith
By loving all our enemies, and friends.


References

The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer:
‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like
everyone else’ (Luke 18:11; NLT).

How can you think of saying to your 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!
(Matthew 7:4-5; NLT).

Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God
shows no favouritism. In every nation he accepts
those who fear him and do what is right”
(Acts 10:34-5; NLT).

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

You, too, must show love to foreigners (Deuteronomy
10:19; NLT).

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

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



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