Dealing with hurt

This blog is about dealing with hurt feelings. In three short articles, it charts my learning over a period of several months.


 1. My dilemma – written on 19.8.20.

Image: level17-design, Pixabay


The churning inside me never stops; days of suffering confront me
(Job 30:27; NIV).

Introduction
During the summer of 2020, two people hurt me badly, on separate occasions. I decided to be direct with them, and did so as lovingly as I could. However, both reacted to my feedback with anger and blame, and neither was willing to work together towards reconciliation.

My dilemma: Should I speak out, or say nothing?
This breakdown in two significant relationships left me ruminating for many weeks about all that had gone wrong, generating a constant sense of dread. Sadly, this was not a new experience. Dealing with hurt feelings has posed a serious dilemma for me throughout my life: is it better to speak out to those concerned, or to say nothing?

What did Jesus say and do?
As always, when I don’t know what to do for the best, I looked for guidance in the teaching and example of Jesus. However, he taught, and displayed, both outspoken and silent ways of responding to hurt, criticism, and injustice, which I have always found confusing.

For example, on one occasion he stated: If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them, and if they repent, forgive them (Luke 17:3; NIV). 

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

So, what happens when I try to follow each of these two apparently very different approaches?

Speaking out
Experience has taught me that when I speak out directly to someone who has hurt me, it almost always backfires. In response to my feedback, they turn on me with anger and blame, or end our relationship. I then react to their hostility with my characteristic endless sense of dread.

Saying nothing
On the other hand, when I say nothing, I allow the other person to hurt me without protesting, absorbing the pain and damage, just as I did with my emotionally abusive mother. This makes me feel powerless, worthless, and depressed.

Thus, whichever approach I try, I generally end up feeling as if life is not worth living.

Forgiveness
Fortunately, Jesus was absolutely clear that whether or not we speak out, we should always forgive those who hurt us. This applies even if they never acknowledge what they have done, and never apologise. Forgiveness gives me something positive to work on during the months of emotional distress which follow each time someone upsets me.

Conclusion
When people hurt me, I see myself as having only two basic choices: to speak out, or to say nothing. Either way, the outcome is equally damaging for my mental health. Not knowing how to resolve this dilemma has plagued me all my life, and remains a serious problem to this day.


After writing the piece above, I began to talk my dilemma over with a few, trusted people for the first time ever. Gradually, my thinking about it began to change, as described in the next article.


2. My action plan – written on 30.8.20.

Image: Jackson David, Pixabay


If you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple, and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God
(Matthew 5:23-4; NLT).

Introduction
After writing the above article, I spent a long time working out how to improve my ways of relating to those who hurt me. From the insights gained, I gradually put together an action plan to follow whenever a crisis arises.

My action plan
Rather than seeing my response as a stark choice between speaking out and saying nothing, I decided to tackle each situation in a series of stages.

Stage 1: Withdraw, pray, reflect
When someone behaves unacceptably towards me, I will not confront the person involved immediately. Instead, I will simply tell them that I need time to reflect on what they have said or done. I will then withdraw to sleep on the matter for at least one night. Taking time out will enable me to pray, discuss the situation with someone I trust, and think carefully, before responding. This should help to prevent me from reacting angrily in the heat of the moment, with a high risk of permanently damaging the other person, our relationship, and myself.

Stage 2: Decide whether or not to be honest
During the time out, if I decide it is pointless, or inappropriate, to speak directly  to the person concerned, I need take the matter no further. Instead, I will work on praying for them, and forgiving them.

On the other hand, if I decide to tell the other person how their behaviour has affected me, I need to remember that they may have had no intention, or awareness, of upsetting me, and might therefore be very taken aback when I raise the subject.

Stage 3: Speak out briefly, and lovingly
When I decide to give direct feedback, I will do so as briefly and lovingly as possible. I will remind the person of what they said or did, and be honest about how it has hurt me. Anything beyond this is superfluous.

Stage 4: Wait to see how the person responds
If the other person reacts badly, there is no need for me to do anything further. We are all responsible for our own behaviour, and I can’t expect everyone to respond exactly as I wish.  Instead, I will try to put the whole matter behind me, though I admit that I have always found this impossible.

On the other hand, if the other person reacts positively, and apologises, I will accept this immediately, forgiving them completely. We can then be reconciled, and the whole matter will be resolved.

Stage 5: Start afresh
Finally, however badly things turn out, I can try to start afresh each day. Every time I find myself ruminating about what happened, I will remind myself that the matter is now closed, and that it’s time for me to move on.

Conclusion
From now on, when someone hurts me, I have an action plan to follow. My overall aim will be to maintain a careful balance between being speaking out, preserving relationships, and protecting my mental health.


After finishing this article, I made further progress in dealing with hurt feelings, as described in the final piece of this series.


3. My further learning – written on 23.1.21.

Image: Manfred Antranias Zimmer, Pixabay


Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves
(Philippians 2:3; NLT).

Introduction
Despite my hopes, putting together my action plan didn’t make me feel any better about my two shattered relationships. I was still living with constant dread, which drained my already very limited energy. My sleep and dreams were disturbed, and I began to slip into depression. Clearly, my approach to dealing with hurt feelings was incomplete.

Then, one day, I suddenly realised that when I’ve been honest with someone about their behaviour towards me, and they have taken it badly, or stopped speaking to me, there is one more step I can take, in the hope of resolving the situation.

One more step
I can write to the person concerned, saying how sorry I am about everything that has gone wrong between us. I can tell them that I’m praying for them, and for our relationship, and let them know that I long for us to be reconciled. Even if they don’t respond, I will then know that I have done all I possibly can to put things right between us.

This insight enabled me to write carefully and lovingly to the two people who had hurt me. To my delight, one responded with great generosity of spirit, though sadly the other did not reply. However, by sending these letters, I finally managed to stop ruminating about all that had gone wrong. In consequence, my abiding sense of dread slowly began to diminish.

The teaching of Mother Theresa
At this point, I believed my action plan was complete. Some weeks later, though, I stumbled on Mother Theresa’s teaching about how to deal with exactly the kind of hurtful situations that had destroyed my peace of mind for so many months.

In  her book, “The Joy in Loving” (Penguin Books, 2000), Mother Theresa offers brief but powerful advice on how to become more humble, and therefore more Christ-like. The wording varies slightly in different editions of the book, so I have amalgamated the most relevant points into a single list which hopefully maintains the spirit of her approach:

  • Do not dwell on the faults of others.
  • Accept contradictions and correction cheerfully.
  • Accept criticism, even if it is unmerited.
  • Accept insults and injuries.
  • Accept being slighted and disliked.
  • Accept contempt, being disregarded, and being forgotten.
  • Be courteous, kind, and gentle, even when provoked.

Inspired by the simplicity and clarity of these teachings, I began to absorb and practice them. Not long afterwards a friend unexpectedly censured me for something which was not under my control. Feeling hurt, I began to defend myself, but quickly recalled Mother Theresa’s wise words, “Accept criticism, even if it is unmerited.” I stopped speaking, and turned away. Overwhelmed by despair, I started to weep. To my friend’s credit, she quickly realised how much she had hurt me. She approached me, apologising profusely. We clung together for a long time in great distress, comforting each other. Eventually I was able to explain how afraid I had been of her sudden anger, and how much her words had upset me. I told her that I loved and valued her, and we were fully reconciled.

Humility, acceptance and courtesy
This was a deeply healing experience, unlike anything  I had previously experienced. Moreover, it was not followed by dread, or depression, which seemed little short of a miracle. I therefore resolved to adopt Mother Theresa’s approach of responding with humility, acceptance, courtesy, kindness and forgiveness whenever someone hurts me.

Conclusion
These three linked articles have described how I resolved my lifelong dilemma about the best way to respond when someone hurts me. I no longer see myself as having a straight, binary choice between speaking out and saying nothing. Nor do I need a complex action plan that relies on how the other person reacts at each stage. Instead, from now on, whenever I am criticised or attacked, I will use the simple, humble approach encapsulated in Mother Theresa’s teaching.

To my delight, this completely resolves my original dilemma, as it is entirely in accordance with the spirit of Christ’s own words: Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also […] Then your reward in heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High (Luke 6:27-9, 35; NLT). 

There can be no finer action plan than this.


Acknowledgements

My warmest thanks to all those who engaged in discussing this issue with me, especially Alan, Dianne, Rosemary, and John. Their contributions have been invaluable. Many thanks also to Ber, whose technical help and personal encouragement enabled me to write and organise this document.

Consequences

Image: Pete Linforth, Pixabay


🖤

He reveals deep and mysterious things
and knows what lies hidden in darkness

(Daniel 2:22; NLT).

Lord,

1. You know I’ve been abused.
I’m traumatised, and scarred.
I’ve had to live with shame, dread
And depression. It’s been hard.

2. My physical and mental health
Have failed, time and again.
I’m sure my mother never guessed
Her rage would cause such pain.

3. Since then, I’ve tried to be
A Good Samaritan each day,
But now I see that I, too, was attacked
Along the way –

4. Stripped and beaten, left half dead,
Despised, passed by, ignored,
Then you drew near to care for me,
My Priest, my God, my Lord.

5. At last, I’ve grasped your promise,
And your plan has been revealed:
My suffering will end one day –
In death, I will be healed.

🧡


References

1. God has seen your abuse (Genesis 31:42; NLT).

2. The tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself (James 3:6; NLT).

No one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison (James 3:8; NLT).

The tongue can bring life or death (Proverbs 18:21; NLT).

They live wicked lives and they misuse their power (Jeremiah 23:10; NET).

You did not reflect on your actions or think about their consequences (Isaiah 47:7; NLT).

3. A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers (Luke 10:30; NIV).

4. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road (Luke 10:30; NLT).

By chance, a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side (Luke 10:31-2; NLT).

I am insignificant and despised (Psalm 119:141; NLT).

I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought! No one will help me; no one cares a bit about what happens to me (Psalm 142:4; NLT).

Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine, and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, “Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here” (Luke 10:33-35; NLT).

I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you (Hosea 14:8; NLT).

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess (Hebrews 4:15; NIV).

“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed (John 20:28; NLT).

5. My eyes strain to see your rescue, to see the truth of your promise fulfilled (Psalm 119:123; NLT).

We receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:22; NLT).

This is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:6; NLT).

The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NIV).

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever ( Revelation 21:3-4; NLT).

Transformation (with thanks to A.K.)

Image: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay


🧡🧡🧡

Only God can turn the dark night into glorious heavenly light
(Alan Kearns).

Lord,

1. Turn our suffering
To hope;
Our blindness
Into perfect sight.

2. Turn our faithlessness
To trust;
Our darkness
Into dazzling light.

3. Turn our sinfulness
To grace;
Our meanness
Into eager care.

4. Turn our selfishness
To thanks;
Our sorrow
Into joyful prayer.

5. Turn our enmity
To love;
Our sickness
Into healing rest;

6. And turn our dying
Into life eternal,
When we’ve faced
Each test.

🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡


References

1. We long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering [and] wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us (Romans 8:23; NLT).

Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgement – to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind” (John 9:39; NLT).

2. Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief” (Mark 9:24; NIV).

Trust in God (John 14:1; NLT).

The Lord turns my darkness into light (2 Samuel 22:29; NIV).

3. Just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 5:21; NLT).

4. Turn from your selfish ways (Luke 9:23; NLT).

Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NIV).

5. Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you (Luke 6:27; NLT)

The Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said: “You will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence (Isaiah 30:15; CSB).

6. Those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life (John 5:24; NLT).

Our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies (1 Corinthians 15:53; NLT).

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows (John 16:33; NLT).

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying” (John 11:25; NLT).

The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul (Deuteronomy 13:3; NIV).

May I catch your whisper

Image: Lukas Bieri, Pixabay


🌘

1. Father,
May I catch your whisper
In the chatter
Of my mind.

2. Father,
May I sense your presence
In the beating
Of my heart.

3. Father,
May I glimpse your splendour
In the darkness
Of my soul.

4. Father,
May I know your power
In my weakness:
Make me whole.

🌘


References

1. After the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper (1 Kings 19:12; NLT).

The Lord knows people’s thoughts; he knows they are worthless! (Psalm 94:11; NLT).

2. Rejoice in his presence (Psalm 68:4; NLT).

I am oppressed and needy, and my heart beats violently within me (Psalm 109:22; NET).

3. His brilliant splendour fills the heavens (Habakkuk 3:3; NLT).

Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light (Micah 7:8; NLT).

4. The Lord’s hand is powerful (Joshua 4:24; NLT).

In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh. […] Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9; NIV).

Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak. Heal me, O Lord, for my bones are in agony (Psalm 6:2; NLT).

Would you?

Image: Roy N, Pixabay


The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others
and to give his life as a ransom for many
(Mark 10:45; NLT).

1. Would you forgo your hope of rescue,
So a foreigner is saved?

2. Or forswear your dream of freedom,
So a friend is not enslaved?

3. Would you renounce your chance of healing,
So a neighbour is made whole?

4. Or surrender your survival,
Just to save a stranger’s soul?

5. Would you resign your reign above,
So enemies are welcomed in?

6. Or face death by crucifixion,
Bearing many people’s sin?

7. Would you believe the Father’s promise,
Trusting you will rise anew,

8. And then give up your life for others –
Just as Jesus did, for you?

 


References

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

2. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13; NLT).

3. Love your neighbour as yourself (Luke 10:27; NLT).

4. Love the stranger (Deuteronomy 10:19; NKJV).

He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole (Isaiah 53:5; RSV).

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15; NLT).

5. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being (Philippians 2:6-7; NLT).

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

6. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross (Philippians 2:7-8; NLT).

He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness (1 Peter 2:24; NIV).

7. Those who die in the Lord will live; their bodies will rise again! (Isaiah 26:19; NLT).

I trust in God (Psalm 56:11; NLT).

They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip, and kill him, but after three days he will rise again (Mark 10:34; NLT).

8. We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters (1 John 3:16; NLT).

My dilemma

Image: 412designs, Pixabay


Introduction

Two people have hurt me badly in the last few weeks. In both cases, after some thought, I was honest with those involved, expressing my response as lovingly as I could. However, they both reacted with anger and blame. Sadly, offering to meet for reconciliation has brought no response.

Since then, I repeatedly go over all that happened, which generates a constant, painful, and exhausting sense of dread.

The crux of my anxiety is that when someone hurts me, I don’t know whether I should speak out, or say nothing. Each approach has different consequences.


What did Jesus say and do?

As always, I look for guidance in Jesus’ teaching and example. However, he taught, and displayed, both outspoken and silent ways of responding to hurt and injustice, which I find confusing.

Until his arrest, Jesus always spoke the truth in love when people criticised or insulted him. He was, in fact, very direct. His honesty made him a lot of enemies, and contributed to his death.

After his arrest, Jesus said very little, no matter what he was accused of, and how he was treated. This puzzled his captors, perhaps antagonising them even more.

Over the years, I’ve tried both approaches. What happens when I follow Christ’s example in these two, very different, ways?


A. Speaking out

When I “speak the truth in love”, it almost always backfires. The person I’ve been honest with turns on me, angrily blaming me for what I said, even though it was their own hurtful behaviour towards me that I spoke about. I then react to their hostility with my characteristic chronic dread.


B. Saying nothing

When I say nothing, I simply allow the other person to hurt me, absorbing the pain and damage, just as I did with my emotionally abusive mother. Without feedback, of course, there is a risk that they may continue to damage me. This makes me feel helpless and powerless, worsening my chronic depression.

Either way, I can easily end up feeling as if life is not worth living.


Forgiveness

Fortunately, Jesus is absolutely clear that whether we speak out or say nothing, we should always forgive those who hurt us. This applies even if they never recognise what they have done, and never say they are sorry.


Conclusion

When people hurt me, I ruminate endlessly about how I responded, and what went wrong. Whether I speak out or say nothing, the outcome is equally damaging for my mental health.

Worse still, I also feel guilty for having “caused” the other person to strike back angrily at me, and to hate me from then onwards.

So, when someone hurts me, should I speak out, or say nothing? I still don’t know the answer to this question, which has plagued me all my life. All I can do is to pray for those who hurt me, asking God to guide and heal us all.

Image: Himsan, Pixabay


References

Introduction

Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me (Psalm 41:9; NLT).


What did Jesus say and do?

Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps (1 Peter 2:21; NIV).

You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? (Matthew 23:33; NIV).

The leading priests kept accusing him of many crimes, and Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer them? What about all these charges they are bringing against you?” But Jesus said nothing, much to Pilate’s surprise (Mark 15:3-5; NLT).

If you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God (Matthew 5:23-4; NLT).


A. Speaking out

Speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them (Luke 17:3-4; NIV.

The churning inside me never stops; days of suffering confront me (Job 30:27; NIV).


B. Saying nothing

He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth (Isaiah 53:7; NLT).

You have taken away my companions and my loved ones. Darkness is my closest friend (Psalm 88:18; NLT).

Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me (Psalm 42:7;NIV).

Why wasn’t I buried like a stillborn child, like a baby who never lives to see the light? (Job 3:16; NLT).


Forgiveness

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there [and] Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:33-4; NIV).

When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins (Mark 11:25; NLT).


Conclusion

Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you (Luke 6:27-8; NLT)

The Lord of Hosts […] is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance (Isaiah 28:29; NKJV).

He will heal us (Hosea 6:1; NLT).

Image: czu_czu_PL, Pixabay

Healing

Image: Alok Timsina, Pixabay


Seek peace (Psalm 34:14; NIV).

1. Healing is a painful, lifelong journey:
A pilgrimage
In search of inner peace.

2. I struggle up the path to my next insight;
What joy to reach the top,
And what relief!

3. But every crest reveals a higher mountain,
And more beyond,
As far as I can see,

4. Until, at last, I glimpse my destination:
The hill, Lord, where you died
To set me free.


References

1. He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds (Psalm 147:3; NLT).

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage […] They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion (Psalm 84:5,7; NIV).

I search for peace (Psalm 120:7; NLT).

2. Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live (Psalm 43:3; NLT).

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand (Philippians 4:7; NLT).

3. The mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all (Isaiah 2:2; NLT).

4. It is high and magnificent; the whole earth rejoices to see it! Mount Zion, the holy mountain, is the city of the great King! (Psalm 48:2; NLT).

They brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha […] Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross (Mark 15:22,24; NLT).

Christ […] has died as a ransom to set them free (Hebrews 9:15; NIV).

If the Son sets you free, you are truly free (John 8:36; NLT).

Prayer

Image: Pixabay

Pour out your heart to him (Psalm 62:8; NLT).

1. Prayer is worship,
Thanks, rejoicing;
Prayer is sorrow,
Fear, and pain.

2. Prayer is spending time
With Jesus,
As he loosens
Every chain.

3. Prayer is mercy,
Love, and healing;
Prayer is sharing
Every sin.

4. Prayer is being one
With Jesus,
So that we can grow
Like him.


References

1. Worship the Lord in all his holy splendour (1 Chronicles 16:29; NLT).

Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18; RSV).

Rejoice always (1 Thessalonians 5:16; RSV).

I weep with sorrow (Psalm 119:28; NLT).

He will calm all your fears (Zephaniah 3:17; NLT).

Feel my pain (Psalm 25:18; NLT).

2. Pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17; RSV).

He wanted to spend more time with his disciples and teach them (Mark 9:31; NLT).

You have loosed my bonds (Psalm 116:16; NKJV).

He snapped their chains (Psalm 107:14; NLT).

3. His mercy endures forever (Psalm 136:25; NKJV).

He loves us with unfailing love (Psalm 117:2; NLT).

I am the Lord, who heals you (Exodus 15:27; NIV).

You desire honesty from the womb (Psalm 51:6; NLT).

4. Whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17; NIV).

Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him (Colossians 3:10; NLT).

Consequences (#2 of 2 linked prayers)

Image: geralt, Pixabay

Choose today whom you will serve
(Joshua 24:15; NLT).

1. Consequences flow
From from how I handle
All I feel.

2. Every choice I make
Brings others pain,
Or helps them heal.

3. Every course of action
Leaves me feeling bad,
Or good.

4. So help me, Lord,
To grow like you,
And choose your Way of Love.


References

1. You did not reflect on your actions or think about their consequences (Isaiah 47:7; NLT).

2. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart (Luke 6:45; NLT).

3. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarrelling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these (Galatians 5:19-21; NLT).

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-3; NRSV).

4. The Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image (2 Corinthians 3:18; NLT).

Follow the way of love (1 Corinthians 14:1; NIV).

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged (1 Corinthians 13:4; NLT).

The best

Image: Tumisu, Pixabay

My old self has been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me
(Galatians 2:20; NLT).

1. Lord,
You are the best of me:
The only part that’s good.

2. Lord,
You are the best of me:
My flesh, and bone, and blood.

3. Lord,
You are the best of me:
My heart, and mind, and soul.

4. Lord,
You are the best of me:
The Christ, who makes me whole.


References

1. “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “Only God is truly good” (Luke 18:19; NLT).

God have mercy on me, a sinner (Luke 18:13; NIV).

2. This is the secret: Christ lives in you (Colossians 1:27; NLT).

Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies (2 Corinthians 4:10; NLT).

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them (John 6:56; NIV).

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

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you (Ezekiel 36:26; NIV).

Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust him (Ephesians 3:17; NLT).

We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; NLT).

The dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NLT).

4. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5; RSV).

We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:10; NLT).