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

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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Personal growth, faith, prayer, contemplation, love, oneness,, Prayer

Life

Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity (Hebrews 6:1; NIV).

A wise person thinks a lot about death (Ecclesiastes 7:4; NLT).

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Lord,
Bless us all,
Throughout our lives:

Our struggles
To grow up,

To overcome
Our brokenness,

And search
Our inner depth.

Lord,
Bless us all,
Throughout our lives:

Our sickness
And decline,

The struggle to accept
Our fate,

Our letting go,
And death.

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It’s okay

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me (Psalm 23:4; KJV).

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It’s okay
To be tired.

It’s okay
To be ill.

It’s okay
To be anxious.

It’s okay
To be still.

It’s okay
To be silent.

It’s okay
To feel fear.

It’s okay
To let go now –

It’s okay,
For I am here.

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May I slowly let go

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

Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit (Luke 23:46; KJV).

I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one – as you are in me, Father, and I am in you (John 17:21; NLT).

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Lord,
May I slowly let go of
My self,
Becoming aware
Of our oneness
In deep silence.

Lord,
May I slowly relinquish
My self,
Remaining aware
Of our oneness
Day and night.

Lord,
May I slowly surrender
My self,
Fully aware
Of our oneness
In life, and in death.

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The truth

You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free
(John 8:32; NLT).

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Meditation doesn’t mean
Observing our thoughts dispassionately,
Then simply letting them go.

Instead, it’s an opportunity
To grasp our secret thoughts
So we can hear them –

For then
We will learn the truth
About ourselves.

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Let go

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised (Job 1:21; NIV).

Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? (Job 2:10; NIV).

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

 

Lord,
Please help me
To let go
Again and again
Of longing
To be different
From how I am.

 

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