As We Forgive Others…

I’ve been reading some psychology articles on forgiveness recently, and I’m impressed by the amount of data that suggests that forgiveness is good for you.There was even some hint of a debate that says we forgive for one of two reasons: 1. It makes us feel better, or 2. It’s the right thing to do.

Why can’t it be both? I mean, doing the right thing should make us feel better, right? And whether purging our hearts of resentment and hurt restores a damaged relationship, or merely releases us from the weight of a damaged ego, either way it’s good, right?

People who forgive sleep better, digest their food more efficiently, and maybe even eliminate one more cause of high blood pressure. I know there are many self-help gurus who talk about both the emotional and physical benefits of  forgiveness, but there is an enormous spiritual benefit as well. Forgive us as we forgive others.

This might be the original win-win.

Pray about it…

For a great little e-book on prayer, go see:

www.therealprayer.org

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Published in: on February 24, 2013 at 4:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Why people hate church…

I once saw a billboard for a local church which read “If you hate church but love God…” The name of the church followed along with other contact information and it did get my attention. I actually had to think for a moment if that sign was for me. I wasn’t quite ready to hate church, but I didn’t enjoy it as I once had.

It wasn’t for any theological reasons, mind you, the church’s religious paradigms were well within accepted parameters. It appeared to be the people. In spite of all the love talk, and forgiveness talk, there was an obvious shortage of both. Decisions were made in business meetings which were fraught with disagreement and hostility, and nobody can hold a grudge like a Christian!

Recently, I read a news article about just how churches were shrinking http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44192469/ns/health-behavior/t/who-going-church-not-who-you-think-study-finds/. Now historically, churches were peopled with either the good of the town or the bad of the town. You know, good people go to church because that’s what good people do, and bad people go to church because that’s what bad people do. But much of this was also tied to economics as well. The affluent went to a certain kind of church and all the poor people went to another kind of church.

Now it seems both the middle class and the poor are avoiding the church. My guess is that in times of real stress, people have tried the church and found out there are no answers there. There is a lot of talk, but no answers.

The problem? People have gotten in the habit of looking to the church for answers rather than God. No one at a church has an answer for you–they’re all just seeking like you (or have long since stopped seeking and have settled for a life of peer affirmation.) YOU are responsible for finding your own answers! You have to seek God. You have to seek out a way to pray, or meditate, or think, or feel, or whatever.

The purpose of this little blog is simply to get you to begin–somewhere. And just maybe by learning to use and experience the Lord’s Prayer. Go visit: www.therealprayer.com

Published in: on September 1, 2011 at 9:05 am  Comments (1)  
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forgive us

To me, the most frightening verse in scripture  is this: The thing I have feared most has come upon me. Job is speaking and it reveals something about him and us. The life we live is reflection of our true thoughts and feelings–not what we sayare our thoughts and feelings. Job’s experience reflected his innermost consuming thoughts-the fear of losing his possessions.

Don’t you know people who relive their mistakes over and over. They keep marrying/dating the same losers, or making the same bad financial decisions. They habitually have the same pessimistic outlook because their experience has taught them “not to get their hopes up” or “don’t expect too much.” They begin to learn that they don’t deserveany successes in life. Many grew up in dysfunctional families and believe they can’t do any better because they weren’t raised any better. They live their lives expecting bad things and that expectation brings about more bad which adds evidence to their belief that they should only expect bad and that…well, you get the idea. They are programmed to expect bad.

Even in church I am told that I’m “such a worm” and that I need to repent or any number of other things designed to show myself worthy, knowing all the while I’m not.

Now here’s the conflict: Jesus came into this world to REMOVE that guilt and no-account, beat-down attitude we have about ourselves. But we tend hang on to all that even after we say we are a believer. He came, as John 3:17 says, not “to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.” You cannot experience abundant life if you are harboring a bad-feeling past. Dragging past mistakes around behind you will only keep you from the freedom you were meant to have!

Realizing that one thing will open so many spiritual doors for you. You can start reprogramming yourself to expect the good for once in your life. And just imagine if you could drop not only those feelings about yourself, but let go of those types of feeling you have about others. What a world this would be.

For an easy to use e-workbook on The Lord’s Prayer, go to www.therealprayer.org

 

Published in: on August 25, 2009 at 11:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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…and forgive us our (debts, trespasses, etc)

How odd it is that there should be a choice, as it were, to either “debt” or “trespass.” It appears from several sources that the notion of debt is what the speaker of these words was actually addressing that day. It appears that instead of teaching on the things believers should not do, he was reminding them about what they should do. So to the extent that they were not doing the good things in life, they were not giving to the creator what was owed. This was the debt: to do good as an offering of thanksgiving. For committing this sin of omission, we ask forgiveness.

The other interpretation is equally valid. Trespassing has a similar meaning as sin. The idea is that of missing the mark; an easy to understand term from archery, sailing, or navigation in general. To trespass is to get off your path onto something else. In this case “forgive” is better followed by “restore.” “Restore us to the true path as we help restore others to it,” or “Forgive our missing the mark, now restore our aim!”

What is that true path? That path of experiencing providence, abundance, love, supply, restoration. Yes, we all crave the forgiveness for disobedience, but having gained that, we need daily restoration to a right mind and right way of thinking and feeling.

An easy to use  e-workbook is available to craft your own prayer based on the model prayer. See it at : www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on May 15, 2009 at 7:35 am  Comments Off on …and forgive us our (debts, trespasses, etc)  
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