The latest book I’m reading is called Peacemaking for Families by Ken Sande. It was one of the 5 books I bought that were recommended by Ann at A Holy Experience (and this woman amazes me so I’ll read pretty much anything she mentions!). So far it’s been a good mix of reminders of how to deal with conflict between people and also some good Biblical background and other examples that I really hadn’t thought about before. Today I read a paragraph that specifically challenged me.
Here’s the background: Yesterday I sent my husband to Walmart to get just a few things. I wrote a pretty specific list so he wouldn’t have to guess what to get. The one thing I really needed was a big tub of vanilla yogurt. I wrote vanilla yogurt on there, showed him the old container so he would have a picture reference etc. So, when he got home I was so frustrated when he brought back plain yogurt. I don’t share this with you to harp on my husband, but to share what a reminder this was today when I read about forgiveness in this book. The next 30 minutes between my husband and I were tense…over yogurt! It was just so clear how easy it is to hold a grudge and to not offer forgiveness over anything – no matter how tiny! And if we are hard pressed to forgive over yogurt – how much more over something substantial!
That, (our struggle to forgive) is the legacy Adam and Eve left us with in the Garden of Eden. But when we remember our position before God, when we adopt an attitude of continual repentance and thankfulness for our salvation, God will help us, through the work of His Spirit, to improve our ability to forgive others. When we come daily before our Lord an repent of our sins, seeking God’s forgiveness and the Holy Spirit’s strength to improve our lives, our forgiveness of others will grow as well; it will become more sincere and more lasting the more we seek God’s grace and guidance.
It’s funny how sometimes you can read something that is so basic and it just hits you between the eyes! I get so frustrated with myself in situations like yesterday because I’m so caught up in disappointment and in essence my sin. I try and try to make myself forgive and move on, but that’s the problem: I can’t make myself. It’s a matter of my heart and to be honest I’m not coming before my God daily and offering up the million ways I need his forgiveness…I’m offering up the million ways He needs to fix or do or whatever for me.
So, today I made a challenge for myself to start a list of things that I’m thankful for and/or things I’m forgiving or need forgiveness from in my personal journal. It’s humbling to sit down for 5 minutes and start to think about forgiveness and thankfulness instead of myself. But let me tell you what a difference it makes in my perspective when those little feet toddle in and interrupt and need breakfast.
Here’s to the next 30 days of keeping track of the ways I’ve been forgiven, need forgiveness and have been blessed. Want to join me?