Monday, August 22, 2016

Forgiving Doesn't Make You Weak ; It Sets You Free

John 13:34

"A new command I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."

For the past few weeks we have been teaching the kids at Kids Club about love, kindness and forgiveness. Forgiveness isnt always easy, but in the end the only one it ends up hurting is ourselves. When we think of how much God loves us, in sending His Son to die on the cross for our sins so that we may be forgiven, it should make it easier for us to love and forgive one another. In comparison to all that God has forgiven me for, anything that anyone does here on earth is nothing.

I have struggled with forgiveness in some areas, and have harbored anger and bitterness in my heart. Throughout my entire life there have been many instances where I have been deeply hurt by others. I have been sexually abused, physically abused and emotionally abused. I have held on to anger, bitterness, resentment and hurt for years on end, and as a result of holding on to those things and not letting it go, I was weighed down and would seek things of the world to help ease the pain and feel the freedom from it. I was caught in a cycle of these things repeating themselves over and over again, and at one point I had accepted that my life would that way. I had been hurt so many times that I just thought that was the life that i was destined to have. The enemy had fed me so many lies, and I reached a point of just giving up and trying to take my own life. And though I had almost suceeded, God brought me back. He had always had bigger and better plans for my life and He wasnt ready to give up on me yet. He had plans and a future for me that I could never fathom. Now, I have been able to look back on all that hurt, and I have finally felt the freedom of letting it go. I have been able to love others as God loves me, and forgiven as He has forgiven me.

I was reminded of something recently that has really helped me pertaining to forgiveness. I was told, "Forgiveness does not go hand in hand with trust. You can forgive but still not trust, and need time to rebuild that trust." That statement made a huge impact on my life. I struggled with that fact, because I knew that I had forgiven but I still struggled with trust, and it made me question myself. I know the enemy will do anything he can to bring me down and get in my head. As long as I stay in the Word and diligent in seeking the Lord, He will keep me on the right track and crush the lies of the enemy.

Today, I will pray for all of those that have hurt me. I will pray that they will pursue God and desire to know Him, and that the enemy would release any hold that he has on thier lives.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Power Of Words

Proverbs 18:21 (a)
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue."

This verse makes me think of that old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." That saying can not be farther from the truth. Words can absolutley be hurtful, and can actually bring someone to hurt themselves or even commit suicide. Death and life are in the power of the tongue. We may think that we aren't hurting anyone, or only joking around, but deep down it could be affecting that person in a horrible way.

This verse speaks to me because honestly im a jokester. I make jokes about EVERYTHING, and most of the time Im really just trying to lighten the mood. There are times though that I jokingly say something about someone else, and I may do it harmlessly, but that person may have taken offense to it, and without realizing it, I hurt them one way or another. The reason why I joke so much is because I love to laugh and I love to make people laugh. I hate when people are upset, or hurting, or when there is tension in the air, so I just make a joke in hopes that it'll lighten the mood in the room. I do know, though, that there are times when I have said hurtful things and joked about someone, and I knew I shouldn't have said it. Whatever it is that I may have said, could have a negative lasting effect on that person. I dont know what goes on in everyones head, and how the devil is attacking them, or what lies he is feeding them, and for all I know I could have just given the devil more ammo, and thats the LAST thing that I want to do. I truly hope and pray that I haven't hurt anyone with anything that I may have said, because I never intended to do that.

I do believe though, that humor and laughter are both amazing gifts from God. I just need to stop and think more carefully before I make a joke or say something that might be hurtful to someone else.

Today, I am going to ask my entire team here to hold me accounatble and to call me out if and when I say something that could have been hurtful to someone. I am also going to pray and ask God to help me choose words of life, and not of death.