Tag Archives: Forgiveness

Thought For The Day 01/06/15

Standard

I’m Sorry!

Post 1396

___

forgiveness

https://mandyspath.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/forgivenessapril.jpg

___

When you realize you have made a mistake, make amends immediately. It’s easier to eat crow while it’s still warm.

Dan Heist
http://www.quotesnsayings.com/sorry/

___

I have written perhaps 50 posts over the years about saying hurtful things to another. Well, after one such post, I received a comment from a friend that reminded me of a moral imperative that should be our response always when we hurt another…. whether the hurt was intentional or unintentional! Here is what he wrote. “I too have fallen into this ‘sin trap’ on more than one occasion…. but to make amends, to apologize to the injured parties, THAT takes another lesson: Humility… one we can all learn better from these days.”

___

The words “I’m sorry” are tiny ones but we often say them all too freely and for the wrong reason. The word sorry loses its magic when you use it that way, especially when it is said in apology for your having committed the same mistake over and over. Sorry loses its power unless and until we choose to not just rectify the mistake, but to make changes to our hearts that guarantees the mistake will not be repeated. And this requires our discovering our inner capacity for “humility”!

___

How many of us have sat ourselves down and really thought about humility, especially as it relates to God’s command? I know that I probably have, on occasion but on occasion is not enough! If we are both willful and prideful, we are not likely to be willing to submit our wills to the things that are God’s command to us! He says as much in Micah 6:8 when we are told of what He asks of us! “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Certainly we can not enter His kingdom! Matthew 18:3-4 reminds us of this! “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” And we need to humble ourselves if we are to ever be forgiven. It is both needed by the one we wronged just as it is needed by us as part of our repentance! It says as much in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin…”

___

Trials are part of life. That we must face them is an inescapable absolute for man. We become vulnerable in our weakness that pride bestows on us when we think we know all of the answers here on earth, and even, at times, what we need to do to get into heaven. None of us like weakness and vulnerability which is why we seem to struggle so when the time comes to admit we are sorry for something we have done. But to do so with a willing heart will not just repair the potholes we often cause along the journey we undertake with others here on earth, but it also helps us to pave the way to Him and to His mansion on high! “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” Esther 12:27.

___

Now just in case you just happen to think it’s too late, too difficult or even impossible to make amends, I want to share the following story with you. I’m sure most of you (here in the states, at least), remember a series of commercials aired by the insurance giant Liberty Mutual. I think of them as a “Pay It Forward” series of feel good acts! Well, that same company has also spearheaded a program entitled “The Responsibility Project”.  This project tells stories about how people say “I’m SORRY” and make amends…. sometimes even teaching a valuable lesson to others in the process. And while you may not always agree with the methods employed, remember that an old saying is not always true: Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. You see, when someone is hurt, opening our heart, mouth and acting to make amends…. to do SOMETHING…. is NEVER the wrong move to make!

http://responsibility-project.libertymutual.com/blog/suspending-the-team

___

He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.

Psalms 25:9 ESV

___

Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 11/14/14

Standard

Mea Culpa

Post 1143

___

(noun)

1. an acknowledgment of your error or guilt

___

http://www.stargatefan.com/fandom/cards/images/Card48.jpg

___

Forgiving is love’s toughest work, and love’s biggest risk.  If you twist it into something it was never meant to be, it can make you a doormat or an insufferable manipulator.  Forgiving seems almost unnatural.  Our sense of fairness tells us people should pay for the wrong they do.  But forgiving is love’s power to break nature’s rule. 

Lewis B. Smedes 

http://www.quotegarden.com/forgiveness.html

___

Everyday when we wake up and begin our morning routine, I doubt we look in the mirror as we wash our face and brush our teeth and think to ourselves, “Today I’m going to be a failure!” No, I think that whether we speak the words or not, we at least feel thankful that we are seeing the start of a brand new day, just as I am certain we look and take a deep breath and think about all of the new possibilities that await us this day. That is the miracle that we are gifted with each and every day when we awaken…..the opportunity to rewrite our story once more. As His word tells us in Lamentations 3:23 (NLT), Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

___

Now that being said, we must not rest on our laurels and think that all that has passed, both the good as well as the bad, is a forgotten chapter in our lives. We are, after all, held accountable always for the things we have done as well as the things we have yet to do! And while we sometimes owe man an explanation for our actions, especially when those actions have broken man’s laws, more importantly, we are always held accountable to God and His expectations for the behaviors we engage in. And while we may not see the need to explain our actions to him during the course of each day we live, the time will come when we will be made to face those regrets in a court higher than that of man! And yet, those regrets can be put to bed, once and for all, by seeking forgiveness from the only one whose opinion on the situation really matters!

___

Are there any hard and fast rules about asking for forgiveness? Well, just as when we ask forgiveness of man, simply saying you’re sorry does not absolve us of the thing we have done wrong or the sin we have committed. There is no resolution that is to be found in just the words. But add to those words a heart that means what the mouth is saying, and now the words have the power to not just resolve the issue by your accepting responsibility for the deed, but they also absolve you, or set you free, from the offending action. So take just a moment and ask yourself if there is anyone…. ANYONE today to whom you owe an apology and if there is, what is it you need to do to make things right?

___

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 ESV

___

Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 10/27/14

Standard

Mending A Broken Heart

Thought 1325

___

http://media.photobucket.com/image/broken%20heart/tuankietnhc/Broken_Heart.jpg?o=163

___

When love is lost, do not bow your head in sadness; instead keep your head up high and gaze into heaven for that is where your broken heart has been sent to
heal.

Author Unknown

http://www.quotegarden.com/teen-heart.html

___

How can you mend a broken heart? What balm is there to apply to the battered and torn remnants of our lost hopes and our dashed dreams? I don’t know about you all but I would almost rather suffer a broken leg or arm than a fracture of that fragile organ that is somehow the single most vital organ to the survival of the human animal. Think about it. Our brain is probably the one organ that is the most connected to our thoughts and deeds but what happens to the functioning of the brain when suddenly the blood supply which is circulated by heart is interrupted? The brain will die just as absolutely when the heart ceases to beat as can our capacity to love another when promises are forgotten and lifetime plans smashed into a million pieces when the one person we have loved above all other humans suddenly rejects us or causes some other harm to our heart! And while the effects might not cause a cessation of bodily functions, it can cause anger, bitterness and hatred which all can destroy the soul! Now I am in no way a professional in grief counseling or anger management, but I can speak as one who has been there and gone on to live another day. It is in this way that I want to share some insights on things that might just help to heal that broken heart from a faith-based perspective.

___

  • We are really promised in the Bible that He will never forsake us, especially in our times of need. It says in Psalms 34:18, NIV, The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. And so the first step should be to unburden your aching heart and speak of your hurt to Him! The simple sharing of that pain can be immensely therapeutic, even if you are not exactly given an answer that will ease the ache!He promises in Jeremiah 29:11 NIV, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
  • It IS OK to cry. In fact, it is almost necessary as part of the process of healing. God created us with the capacity to cry because He knows that shedding tears often provides us with an immediate relief of the heaviness that our cares can weigh us down with. And since greater people that us have wept bitter tears, including Abraham (Genesis 23:2) and even Jesus (John 11:35), we are in good company, indeed! He tells us as much in Ecclesiastes 3:4 NIV that there is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.
  • Talk. Yes, talk to God, but also try to find a corporeal someone with whom you are comfortable sharing you greatest fears and hurts. Surrounding yourself with supportive people allows you the chance to share your burdens. Job 10:1 NIV, “I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.
  • Become proactive in your recovery by concentrating on things that you enjoy and are good at. Whether you adopt a hobby or you take up walking or jogging, turning that pain into positive action can go far in healing the physical components of hurt! Philippians 4:8 NIV says it well! 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.
  • Be willing to take that leap of faith I have talked so much about of late and dare to dream and even more importantly, dare to love again! Man was meant to stand and walk through this world with a help meet at his side. In fact, it became God’s plan for man when he saw his very first human, looked into his heart and found that Adam’s heart concealed the anguish of being alone! In Genesis 2:18 NIV we learn of God’s decision that none should walk the earth alone! The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
  • And lastly, be willing to forgive. Forgive the one that hurt you and caused such upheaval to your life. Then, and perhaps even more importantly, forgive yourself for those negative labels you have affixed to yourself. It is natural to place blame for what happened on your own shoulders. But stop! You are not unworthy or lacking in any way! Give yourself permission to let go of the past and start a new beginning in your life. Give yourself permission to live again! Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV promises us, Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

___

How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?

Robin Gibb & Barry Gibb

I can think of younger days when living for my life
Was everything a man could want to do.
I could never see tomorrow, but I was never told about the sorrow.

And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
How can you mend a this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again.

I can still feel the breeze that rustles through the trees
And misty memories of days gone by
We could never see tomorrow, no one said a word about the sorrow.

And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
How can you mend this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again.

___

Today my baby boy…..all 6’6″ of him…..turns 35. He is all I ever dreamed of when I carried him, and I am so very proud of him! 

Danny, I love you very much!

Happy Birthday!

Dan and Melissa 2013

Danny and Melissa Bruscella

2013

___

Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 10/10/14

Standard

The Hurt We Cause

Thought 1308

___

http://media.photobucket.com/image/hurting/lush_falcon/hurting.jpg?o=19

___

We have a choice every day – to act on yesterday’s good intentions or get an early start on tomorrow’s regrets.

Robert Brault

www.robertbrault.com

___

I was forced to think about the dance of life the other night. Now life is like a beautiful waltz. Each step a delicately choreographed movement meant to perfectly compliment the person you are dancing with. Unfortunately I am a child of the “frug” and “watusi” and “mashed potato” era. Instead of a gentle and slow, arm in arm, symmetrical dance with my partner, my dance is more often than not, one of flailing arms and stomping feet, totally independent of my partner who stands just a few feet from me! And with the “herky jerky”, in my own little world movements, the unthinkable happens. I either bop someone upside the face or step on toes unprepared for the assault of my size 8 1/2 EE feet! Which actually might go far to explain how it is that I spend so much of my time tripping over those same feet and crashing to the ground, bruising not only my knees and hands, but my ego as well! Now when I am the only victim, it is easy to pick myself up, dust myself off, and continue along my way. However, when it is an innocent I bruise by my clumsiness, moving on is not quite as easy! So how exactly it is that we make amends to another we’ve bruised, whether the act was intentional or unintentional, is what I want to think about today!

___

I spend more time than I probably should uttering the words, “I’m sorry”! I say it to my family. I say it to my friends. I even say it to strangers I bump in the store! Then I realized that when you really think about it, saying those words implies that the person you’ve hurt is somehow the loser in this innocent (or even when it’s not so innocent) action that occurred. Saying “I’m sorry” usually only succeeds in making the clumsy one feel better, not the one who suffers from our clumsiness!

___

There was once a very sweet love story that was made into a movie that had as its catch phrase the line, “Love Means Never Having To Say You’re Sorry”! And while I once thought the sentiment to be somewhat trite, if not inane and an outright untruth, time has altered my thinking on the matter, just a bit. Perhaps it is the sheer number of band aids I’ve had to apply to my own nicks over the last 50 (ah, er, ummmmm, ugh)…OK, 58 years of my life, that has given me time to really think about this. And I have come to two separate opinions on the matter.

  • Firstly, it is not just perfectly acceptable but it is also downright necessary that we offer our apologies to that stranger we’ve somehow hurt by our actions. These are people who do not know the content of our character because they do not know us, and so we must show them who we are by the way we respond to the hurt we’ve caused.
  • Secondly, (and this is the HUGE one), regarding those we either know intimately or at least well enough to really regret the hurts we’ve caused, we owe much more that the ubiquitous “I’m sorry”! What we owe them is to demonstrate by our actions that we are sorry!

___

Dan has told me more than once during a squabble that if I was really sorry, I wouldn’t have done it in the first place. And he is absolutely right. We need to remember that the people we care about are just as fragile of heart as we ourselves are and this means we need to be careful and tread lightly when it comes to what we say and do. This does not mean we walk on eggs or aren’t completely honest. What it does mean is that we remember that for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction and because we know the history and emotional hiccoughs of those closest to us, we really need to add to our mouth our very own tape delay. This is the thing television stations implement to allow them time to bleep out something that might be objectionable to some should it be aired publicly. If we could add the same thing to our own thoughts and deeds, we would most likely use a whole lot less band aids on the boo boo’s we cause others. But what then do we do when we haven’t been able to censor our actions and words and have hurt someone?

___

Instead of saying I’m sorry, try showing them that you are sorry. (I hope that this blog might just be one thing that shows someone I hurt just the other night that I regret the hurt I caused them!) Be creative and think of unusual and even random acts that are positive affirmations of how much they mean to you. Share a picture or a post if they are “social media-philes” like I am. If it’s someone a little closer to home, try something as simple as a hug or a card or even a poem. While an “I’m sorry” bouquet of flowers is nice, your gesture needn’t cost anything at all except a little thought and perhaps some of your time. How about helping them with something they really enjoy. Just show up, roll up those sleeves and dig in! The key to it all is to remember that no matter how hard you try to show your regret, it won’t matter if you repeat the offense over and over again. It is being truly sorry for what happened that will give what you do its power and proof!

___

“A fool’s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.”

Proverbs 14:33
World English Bible

___

Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 09/06/14

Standard

Setting Our Hearts Free

Thought 1274

___

forgiveness-prisoner

 http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture+of+forgiveness&qpvt=picture+of+forgiveness&FORM=IGRE#a

___

Life is an adventure in forgiveness. 

Norman Cousins

http://quotegarden.com/forgiveness.html

___

Forgiveness. A word that is a whole lot easier to say than it is to do. But do it we must for many reasons….the least of which is that it is a therapeutic mental, emotional and spiritual cleansing of our soul. Letting go of grudges and bitterness allows us to make way for compassion, kindness and peace, which is necessary if we are to become not just content in our interpersonal relationships but also in our spiritual relationship with God. It is, after all, God’s command that we forgive. In Colossians 3:13 (NIV), we are told, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

___

There are some specific components to forgiveness. But if you choose to think of them simply as the ingredients which, when added together in the right order, will  create a delicious and wonderful dish, they are easy to remember!

  1. You do have a right to feel hurt or betrayed and pretending that the hurt didn’t happen, does not work! It is a natural response and to suppress it can do more harm than good.
  2. Our first response is often anger and the need for revenge. But we must forget and forgo the temptation to be vengeful. That kind of thinking only hurts us more. AND it seldom, if ever, hurts the person who caused us pain in the first place!
  3. Remember that forgiveness means taking control of your own feelings and then taking positive steps. We can not always control how we feel but we can control what we do with those feelings as they relates to both ourselves and others!
  4. Forgiving someone does not automatically mean you will regain trust in them. However, it is a first step in allowing them the opportunity to regain that trust by their acceptance of our forgiveness and then making amends for their behavior. Allow yourself the time you need to feel pain. Just as there is a grieving period when we lose a loved one, so must there be a time of mourning when we are hurt. The amount of time varies depending on the hurt and our response to it, but then reaching the stage of forgiveness releases those demons that will haunt us if we do not forgive!
  5. Allow yourself the time you need to feel pain. Just as there is a grieving period when we lose a loved one, so must there be a time of mourning when we are hurt. The amount of time varies depending on the hurt and our response to it, but then reaching the stage of forgiveness releases those demons that will haunt us if we do not forgive!
  6. Not everyone will make those amends. Remember that it is their decision on what steps they will choose to take…. indeed, if any…. to rebuild what was lost. What forgiveness does is to free our own heart and in doing so, allow us to move forward with our own lives. Sometimes we must view those hurts as a learning experience and then let go of what may well be a toxic relationship!

___

Forgiveness is not easy, and as we can see, it is never accomplished in a single step. It is a conscious decision we must make over and over again throughout our entire lifetime. But we will know when we have succeeded because our hearts will tell us when the oppressive burden it carried is lifted. And amazingly, once it does, we realize that it is we who reap the benefits and the rewards of forgiveness! Lewis Benedictus Smedes explained it beautifully in his book, “Forgive and Forget”. Mr. Smedes, a renowned Christian author, ethicist, and theologian in the Reformed tradition, was a professor of theology and ethics for twenty-five years at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. When asked about forgiveness, he explained, “When  you release the wrongdoer from the wrong, you cut a malignant tumor out of your inner life. You set a prisoner free, but you discover that the real prisoner was yourself.”

___

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Matthew 18:21-22 NIV

___

Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 07/26/14

Standard

The Power Of Forgiveness

Thought 1231 

___

forgiveness

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture+of+the+power+of+forgiveness&id=13E1FFA7C12DEFB10D4E021788669D4E71691717&FORM=IQFRBA#a

___

It’s really amazing when two strangers become the best of friends, but it’s really sad when the best of friends become two strangers.

“Morgan’s Quotes” 

http://morgie31.tripod.com/id6.html

___

Can there be any heartache more acute than the pain that is felt as the result of betrayal by a friend? Since the beginning of times, man has sought to live as part of a community. This was necessary for survival of what is truly a fragile life form… a human being. A community afforded its members protection from predators and more individuals hunting or foraging meant greater success in finding food sources. A community also allowed for a safer environment for the rearing of children and for the exchange of information key to growing and learning and surviving in the world. And while, for the most part, we no longer need a community for this type of supportive nurturing, the emotional support afforded to the members of a community or extended family today remains just as vital and necessary.

___

The organization and banding together of a group of people, all with a common purpose, is a fundamental necessity today and is why we have sought to established ourselves into various communities, consisting of (but certainly not limited to) towns, churches, businesses, companies, etc. Even today, we grow and thrive physically, mentally and spiritually, because of the knowledge and wisdom we have gained from the free exchange of information within our group. However, there can come a time when we forget that the best things in life are the result of our affiliation with others. We begin to think only about ourselves and our own selfish needs and so we may betray the trust and confidences that others have placed with us as friends. Even our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ was not immune to betrayal by those who were closest to him and whom he dearly loved. Following the Last Supper, Jesus retired to the Garden of Gethsemane, to pray to God and to begin preparations for the events that would transpire. Jesus knew what the future would hold. He told the disciples of the betrayals and denials that were to come. And while Jesus was able to forgive all who caused Him such sadness, we who are all too mortal, often have a much more difficult time with the act of forgiveness….. especially when the one needing to be forgiven is ourselves!

___

What is the real motive behind our propensity to hold onto anger? Are we secretly hoping to hurt the person who wronged us right back? Unfortunately, feeling that way usually hurts only one person…. our self! When we hold onto anger we are not happy… we are not contented… we are not at peace with ourselves. What we need to look for is the good that can often arise from the bad…. just as a forest becomes reborn following a wild-fire. Forgiving teaches us more about our inner resources and the “stuff” we are made of than almost any other choice we can make in our daily life. The ability to forgive empowers us and keeps us from being a victim even though to do so often goes against our nature. But forgiveness is what faith teaches us we must do and we must trust that God will give us the inner resources so that we can accomplish this.

___

THE GIFT OF FORGIVENESS

Up-loaded by Humanity Healing

for more information visit:
http://humanityhealing.net/2009/04/gift-of-forgiveness

___

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

Isaiah 1:18 NIV

___

Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 07/12/14

Standard

The Devil’s Playground

Thought 1216

___

___

“Hell is yourself and the only redemption is when a person puts himself aside to feel deeply for another person.”

 Tennessee Williams 

___

It seems that lately, our country is becoming the devil’s playground, and although I could very well be referring to the record-setting temperatures being experienced over so much of our nation this summer, I’m not! Nor am I referring to the documentary film about Rumspringa rite of passage for Amish teenagers. What I am referring to is the evil that glares back at me from news casts and my newspaper every waking moment.

___

Why is it that our society seems to be evolving (though devolving might be a better word to use) back to the instincts that were so necessary for the survival of man during our earliest years on this planet? Violence and hatred rears its ugly head at every turn…. in our small towns as well as our cities…. in our schools and in our workplaces…. in our homes and yes, even in our houses of worship.

___

When I really sat down and thought about it, almost always coupled with the hatred, cruelty and violence I witnessed were the words “I”, “Me”, “My”, “Mine”! Many, especially those who would try to do evil against others, think only in terms of their own wants, needs and desires. They are often incapable of understanding the consequences their actions have on the psyche of others. Selfish and egocentric behaviors abound and permeate every waking moment of every day. And there is something so profoundly wrong that finds me asking the very same questions written more than 2000 years ago by the Apostle James!

___

James 4: 1-3 NIV

1:   What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?

2:   You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.

3:   When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
___
Why have we become selfish and egocentric? At some point, every one of us has been hurt in some way by the people around us and it is our natural response to these situations to either shut down and withdraw or attack as a defense. We are afraid being vulnerable will be used against us in some way and none of us want the appearance of being weak when it seems everyone else in the world is a shark. However, it only hurts because we have previously cultivated within ourselves a feeling of being unworthy but it is we alone who make ourselves victims! And only we can make amends for how we act towards others! Instead of allowing this sense of unworthiness to become a fixed part, we must open our hearts to the pain and fear and allow the message that God is seeking to teach us all…that forgiveness and righteousness exists for all who accept Jesus Christ into their heart.

___

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Ephesians 4: 31-32 NASB

___

Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”