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Listen while you read: "Twas On That Night"1 (Lyrics)
1 Timothy 2:8 – So I want men everywhere to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from sin and anger and resentment. (TLB)
Matthew 6:12 – And forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. (TLB)
A friend told me that he was looking for a new therapist.
"I thought you were happy with the one you had," I said.
"Oh, I can't go back to him," he said. "When I thanked him for helping me, he replied that talking to me had been a big help to him, too. The nerve! I told him I would no longer require his services!"
I didn't get it.
"Well," my friend said, "Here I am paying good money for his help, while he's getting my input for free!"
"But he's a trained professional with years of experience," I said.
"Yes, but where did he get that experience?" he said. "Probably from helping me!"
Now, he'd lost that help and had a resentment that grows bigger with every memory. Yet, we know that helping relationships are usually mutual.
Another acquaintance showed me a notebook of names of those who had "done her wrong". "What about forgiving them and moving on?" I said. "And let them get away with it?" she answered, closing the book — in which my name and inability to agree would no doubt be shortly appearing.
I was raised to be polite while being critical and judgmental underneath. Such a life generates bitterness, turns to hate, and eventually leads us to become what has been termed an exploding doormat, full of resentments which push God right out of our lives as we dwell on wrongs done to us. We cannot have both God and hate.
Thankfully, there is a way out. We take the name of the person being resented and pray everything for them that we'd like for ourselves — even if we don't mean it, even if we are only saying words at first. We just go ahead and do it anyway, in faith, for at least two weeks. This prayer might be familiar to some. It comes from Alcoholics Anonymous, since resentments are one of the biggest excuses to isolate and drink. It has been working for me for years now. Yet still, I am always surprised that when compassion begins, anger and desire to get even melt away. Soon, I am able to forgive, to see the resented one as just another person that God loves, like me, and love them, too.
Ephesians 4:27 – And do not give the devil an opportunity [to lead you into sin by holding a grudge, or nurturing anger, or harboring resentment, or cultivating bitterness]. (AMP)
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for becoming human like us. Because of Jesus, we know that You met the anger, injustice, rejection, and hate of our world with forgiveness, understanding, kindness, and love. Thank You for using all the difficult people in our lives to teach us humility and to give us opportunity to grow and change to be more like You. Amen.
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Such great advice, Rose.
Thank you and blessings, Rose!
Awesome meditation! Blessings.
Thanks, Rose, for your insightful devotion.
Blessings on your week.
Hi Rose. Thank you for your very wise words. May our Lord bless you always.
A very good message today of healing and hope. Thank you!
Oh, Rose, thank you for this excellent and as-needed message. Much distress and even illness could be avoided by forgiveness.
Good points – and funny illustration! – today. Bitterness can ruin a person, can’t it? I’ve never heard the expression “exploding doormat.” I would like that explained. I wonder where that expression came from.
Thank you for that. Yes indeed! And I have been reading a little book called “The healing light” by Agnes Sanford, an old book but full of wisdom and the knowledge and experience that comes from a close relationship with God. It has a similar theme with a powerful witness to what God can do in and through us.
I loved your devotional. Firstly, l find it very entertaining – the way you portrayed your friend’s reaction to providing his therapist with help brought a smile to my face. I burst out laughing when you said that your own name was most likely destined for the pages of your acquaintance’s bitterness journal!
On a serious note, this devotional includes imperative information on living the kind of freedom that Jesus means for us to live in John 10:10 and that means letting go of things that weigh us down such as unforgiveness, bitterness and revenge. Thank you for sharing this message.
Also, one of my dearest friends is a recovering alcoholic and l have accompanied him to numerous AA meetings. I don’t know how it is in Canada or the U.S., but in Germany the meetings are sometimes “open” to family and friends. I know the 12 steps quite well through my friend and you summed up one of the principles of AA beautifully. Well done for bringing that up and increasing the spectrum of where we can find Christian awareness. After all, AA has a Christian foundation.
Thank you for another wonderful, beautifully written devotional, Rose!
What wise words indeed. I needed to be reminded of that! You always have an inspirational message. Thank you.
I like the sound of that prayer.
Jesus, the master psychologist, understood that unforgiveness turns inward and makes you ill.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful insight. I learned it in Al Anon years ago and it truly does work but it is hard to imagine it working until you try it. It also works when you are sad to force yourself to put a smile on your face and continue on. It also works but how that is God’s mystery. I have been trying to teach my granddaughter both of these and also gratitude lists and hope that she will grow to use them without my encouragement. Thank you for your honesty sharing.