Forgiveness is a two-way street. Not only do we need to forgive others, but we need to forgive ourselves. Sometimes that is much harder than forgiving others.
So, as this decade of 2010 to 2019 ends, commit your heart to forgiveness. Let go of any hurts from others. Tell them so. And let go of those regrets that creep into your heart and cause you to scold yourself.
None of us is perfect. We all make mistakes. We all say things and do things and think things that we regret afterward. Forgive yourself … and move on!
Let those mistakes (sometimes intentionally placed in our lives … so not mistakes at all) be building blocks toward a better you! With 20/20 CLARITY, let this new decade be a time of strength and sincerity, compassion and courage, challenge and change, faith and fearlessness.
Know in the midst of life’s struggles that you are never alone. In my devotional this morning, I am reminded of God’s love for me and His changelessness with Ps. 59:10
It is our fluctuating emotions that cause us to ask for forgiveness and then take back the guilt that God has taken from us. We try to forgive, but we remember. We remember our own wrongs. We suffer the wrongs others have inflicted on us, carrying them in our hearts long after we think we have given them to God. The devo from Guideposts for today tells me, “Stop that!”
Accept His forgiveness. Acknowledge His death that took away our sins. Know His changeless love and His unconditional acceptance of us. And pray with me the prayer Rebecca Barlow Jordan wrote as our “Faith Step” for today in the last entry of Daily Guideposts 2019:
“This coming year, as I confess any wrong things in my heart to Jesus, (either my own wrongs or those inflicted on me by others), remind me to thank Him for His changeless love and acceptance. (And help me imitate His unconditional love as I interact with others… and with myself.
Dr. Perry, posted a blog titled, It’s OK to Have a Bad Day. It caused me to internalize this inward journey for peace and think about the habits I have worked to develop in order to be my own best friend.
He quoted Emerson, who wrote: ““Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ten Habits of Peaceful Living
Traveling inward, looking for contentment, I have found that I need to consciously adopt habits that foster inner peace:
Recognition of Limitations
Confrontation of Temptations
Elimination of Blame
Hope in the Face of Despair
Celebration of Where my Hope Lies
In the process of traveling the Road to Inner Peace, it is important to stop every now and then to look back. Consider your progress or regression. Have you every noticed when you’re traveling up a hill that you don’t realize how steep it is until you look back at the incline you have just traversed?
Likewise, when the road is on a decline, you may not realize how drastic the angle until you stop and look back up to the place you began. Reflecting on where you started and seeing how far you have improved or deteriorated can be very helpful.
Dr. Perry, in the post I referenced above says it this way, “After a period of time, reflect on what you have learned and gained from the negative event or interaction in your life. More often than not you will find that you have learned something. Perhaps you will discover an inner strength that you were not aware of or a higher purpose for your existence.”
In her September 27th, The Godly Chic Diaries posted a WordPress guest writer. She introduced Matik Nicholls by saying, “I’m a firm believer that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. I say this with my whole heart, Everyone needs a blessing. And if you have the ability to bless others, be a blessing. And when you are a blessing to others, you will find ‘joy unspeakable’ in the process….”
Guest Blogger: Matik Nicholls wrote: “Every gift, ability and blessing we have is for the service of others. We are blessers not blessees! We carry the presence of God wherever we go for a greater purpose than just for us to be happy. It is our privilege and purpose to transfer the blessings of God to others!”
Take Joy in the Journey
Traveling life’s road, I take joy in the journey. Spreading it’s my goal.
With The Godly Chic’s help, I discovered this new website, and decided to subscribe to it. The author, Matik Amilcar Nicholls, has created an inspirational web blog at http://www.Authenticjoy.org. This handsome, positive-thinking young man resides in the beautiful islands of Trinidad and Tobago.
On his site, he shared, “I am an engineer by training, having graduated from the University of the West Indies with a B.Sc. Computer and Electrical Engineering (with honours). More recently, I completed an M.B.A. with the Heriot-Watt University. I also have a certificate in Applied Theology (class valedictorian) from the Millennium Bible Institute and currently I am pursuing an online programme with the International Coaching Academy to become a Certified Coach.”
Naturally, reading about him, I am inspired to want to learn more. My Road to Inner Peace is made more successful when I can join hands on the journey with people like Matik. People in other parts of the world. People whose life stories are far different from mine, but who share the common purpose of wanting to “Be a Blessing.” I encourage you to let Matik’s JOY infect you as I found it to be quite “catching” indeed!
Like me, spreading joy – and the source of his joy (his FAITH) – is what Matik says he is all about. He wrote, “I love Jesus. I love spending time with Him. I love His mercy that keeps flowing endlessly in my life. I love what He stands for: love, grace, mercy, peace, truth, freedom, humility and transformation. I am committed to these values. I’m committed to doing my part to preach the gospel, heal the sick, feed the poor, comfort the hurting and free the oppressed… I enjoy seeing people walk in the fullness of all that God has for them to be and do.“
Walk in the fullness Of all that God has for you Find that Inner Peace.
Bob and I have been married more than 57 years. Our love for one another is more alive today than it ever has been. (I read that statement to him just now and asked if he agreed. Of course, he said, “Of course,” That’s part of the secret, guys! Ya gotta readily agree on things like that!)
How do we do it? How do we keep love alive after all these years? What is a healthy marriage anyway?
Jane Smiley, in her book, At Paradise Gate, wrote the following:
“You know what getting married is? It’s agreeing to take this person who right now is at the top of his form, full of hopes and ideas, feeling good, wildly interested in you because you’re the same way, and sticking by him while he slowly disintegrates. And he does the same for you. You’re his responsibility now, and he is yours. If no one else will take care of him, you will. If everyone else rejects you, he won’t.
What do you think love is? Going to bed all the time? Poo! Don’t be weak. Have some spine! He’s yours and you’re his. He doesn’t beat you or abuse you, and you’ve made the same bargain. Now that you know what it’s like to be married, now that all the gold leaf has sort of worn off, you can make something of it; you can really learn to love each other.”
I love that take on marriage by Jane Smiley. It coincides with my opinion on what it takes to make a marriage work. Here is my list: Ten Constant Steps toward Being Married Happily Ever After:
Accept and Respect one another’s differences, and celebrate your areas of sameness.
Stick by one another – even as you slowly disintegrate.
Take responsibility for yourself and your actions. Be forgiving.
Defend one another to a hostile world.
Be strong in your faith; pray and laugh and play together.
Be a diligent partner, doing more than your share without bitterness or resentment or complaint.
Praise one another for the little things.
Never take one another for granted.
Always be trustworthy; don’t stab one another in the back!
Practice the art of compromise – with God as your Constant Guide.
Yes, when all the gold leaf has sort of worn off and you’re each comfortable in your own space, keep the space open and inviting. Invite one another in. Keep on learning to love one another as long as you both shall live.
You’re in this box together. You’re in it for the long haul. Enjoy the ride!
Faith is belief in the unseen. To look beyond the obvious and see endless possibilities adds depth and meaning to our lives. It opens us to gifts beyond measure.
In Mark 9:22-24, a father of a mute son said to Jesus, “If you can do anything, do it! Have a heart and help us!”
Jesus replied, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.”
No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “Then I believe. Help me with my doubts.”
In their book, Spiritual Literacy,
Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat talk about faith, “Recognize and accept that there is another dimension to life than what is obvious to us. Live with obstacles, doubt, and paradox, knowing that God is always present in the world.”
And because we believe in the God who is our Creator, and the One He sent to forgive us for our repeated wrong-doings to ourselves and one another, we also have the capacity to forgive.
The Brussats wrote about forgiveness: “In both your private and public lives, discover the sweet release that comes from forgiving others. Feel the healing balm of being forgiven and of forgiving yourself.”
Enjoy the sweet smell
Of receiving and giving
“I am a wretched sinner! I am going to Hell!” Mark shouted from his nursing home bed.
“Mark, we all have sinned. We all make mistakes. None of us is perfect. You have asked God to forgive you. He has! You need to forgive yourself!”
“I can’t! You don’t know how bad my sin is! You don’t know what I did! I can never forgive myself! I am miserable,” Mark moaned.
My friend, Mark, died later that week!
I don’t know if he was able to forgive himself on his deathbed, but I believe our Lord and Savior died so that Mark could be forgiven. He did believe in God. He professed his belief many times.
John 20:21-23 says,
“Again Jesus said to His disciples,
‘Peace be with you!
As the Father has sent me,
I am sending you.
And… He breathed on them and said,
‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
If you forgive anyone his sins,
they are forgiven’ …”
Are you looking for more meaning, more purpose,
and a peace that permeates your soul?
Live in Faith, my friends. Know the Holy Spirit lives in you, and know You ARE Forgiven.
You do not need to end your life crying in misery.
Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that by believing you will have eternal life in His name.
See yourself opening doors to joy, peace, healing, prosperity, and love.
Doors to understanding, compassion, and forgiveness.
Doors to freedom…
Doors to self-worth and self-esteem…
Doors to self-love…
It is all here before you…
Which door will you open first? ~ Louise L. Hay
I have a lot of crackpot friends
Who make me laugh and sing
They say good friends always are
Half-cracked (if there is such a thing)
It’s through the cracks that light
Can sneak in and add levity
To the darkened places in
The hearts of you and me
We need those crackpot friends
Like we need doors that open wide
To let the light shine in our lives
And erase the shadows we try to hide
So, crack the door open, friends
And invite your light to shine bright
I need it in my life each day
I need it today; I’ll need it tonight
For life can be filled with darkness
If you close yourself into a knot and stay curled
Open your heart to the blessings out there
Crack the door open and welcome the world!