I’m circling back to Mercy and Grace this week. I’ve heard a lot of people this week talking about being offended. How they’re offended, how someone has done them wrong. And, I know, we say that they need to “let it go”, we tell ourselves that we need to “let it go”, but how? How do we let it go? How do we get over it? How do we extend that mercy and grace. How do we stop drinking the poison of anger and pain and suffering (and expecting the other person to die)?
Well, I will share of my experience of getting past a major offense. Something major and traumatic had happened between a family member and myself. And, every time, I started to think about what that person had done and how mad I was about it, I picked a scripture, and would replace those thoughts with that scripture. I started to retrain my brain. Every time I got mad, I would start reciting that scripture to myself. Now, this was not easy, and sometimes I had to recite that scripture for hours in my head, and sometimes I would dwell a little while before I started reciting that scripture, but eventually it just started working. It got easier and easier to stop thinking about how angry and hurt I was, and it started closing that wound up. It started to change my heart of stone, to a heart of flesh. It started to change the way I think. And, I believe that was one of the most powerful things I’ve learned as a follower of Jesus.
For several reasons:
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” – Psalm 119:11
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” – Phillippians 4:8
“In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. – Ephesians 4:26-31
11 Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. – Proverbs 29:11
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. – James 1:19-20
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. 9 For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. – Psalm 37:8-9
And, here was the verse I memorized, the scripture I recited repeatedly, the one that helped calm me and retrained my brain to stop living in the past, to stop giving the devil a foothold, to letting someone else steal the peace that God has given me and that no man may take away:
Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for peace today. I pray that we learn to “think right” that we clothe ourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. That we forgive those who have offended us as you have forgiven us for all of our sins, and continue to forgive us. I pray that we meld ourselves more to the mind of Christ. That we love our brethren. That we believe in the mercy and that grace that you have for us, and that we extend that incredible grace and mercy to those around us. That we claim the peace that you have given us for ourselves. That we continue to bend our hearts to walk like you Father. And that you reach inside us and give us healing. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!
Operation Christmas Child! This particular mission, is very near and dear to my heart. What an incredible opportunity. For less than $20, you can make a shoebox for a child, and drop it off at a local collection center, and spread love and the good news around the world. From right where you’re at. In every shoebox, Samaritan’s Purse puts a leaflet that gives the Salvation Story in their language, and as they’re distributing them, they share the story of Jesus Christ.