Sunday, June 10, 2012

Day 9 and Day 10 of 30 Days of Posts

Well, I am blogging each day of June for 30 Days for God, Home, Health, and Work.  But yesterday, I completely forgot my need to blog until I was about to hop in bed at least it was a Sabbath well done :-).  I took my Sabbath yesterday because today was filled with responsibilities that I knew would not feel like a day of rest.  Anyway, today's post with be a 2-for-1 so that I can catch up and keep my promise of 30 days of posts this month.  So, please consider this Day 9 and Day 10 :-).

Day 9 = Part 1) Respecting Your Own Needs   

When someone wrongs you, how do you choose to handle it?

I used to think that forgiveness meant being a door mat...I am so years over that now!

What I now know is that offenses are never okay, and forgiveness does not say that they are, but with Christ, we can speak the truth in love, state how we feel from our perspective, ask for what we would like from the other person, and forgive the offense. 

How would this work in a marriage, for instance?  Here is an example:

Perhaps your husband comes home late from the office and didn't call.  You are worried sick about him.  What would you do?

A) Yell and scream at him as soon as he comes in the door. 
B) Give him the silent treatment and cold shoulder.
C) Choose to be honest and act respectfully for the benefit of both your husband and yourself.

Of course, the feelings you might have might lead you to want to do A or B, but if you chose to do C, you chose the appropriate answer, so what might that look like?

1) Use an "I" statement to tell your husband how you feel, as in:  "Honey, I was so worried about you and whether you were okay that now that you are home, I am now feeling so angry at you for not calling to tell me you would be so late. 

2) Ask for what you want/need, as in: "Would you please call me the next time that you aren't going to be home at the regular time?"

3) Forgive, as in: Don't bring it up again and again.  There should be no:  "Well, if you had called...." guilting or anything to hold it over his head.

It is okay to feel angry, but what is not okay is to sin in your anger.  It is okay to stand up and speak up for yourself, but it is not okay to harm the other person in doing so.  Always, we must remember that we need to love others as we love ourself, and that often means to both remember to treat our own self well by speaking up for what we need or would like and to remember that the other person has feelings, too. 

Day 10 =  Part 2: The Purposes of Forgiveness

As I said, a long time ago, I used to think that forgiving meant that you let someone walk all over you and just kept forgiving.  This isn't forgiveness, it's just stupid.  I now see forgiveness as releasing the other person and the wrong from owing or owning you. Sure, the first part is releasing another from owing you restitution (not that it isn't right for the person to apologize or repay you for what they have stolen, but that you release the debt's necessity).  This naturally lead in to releasing the person from owning you, as in possessing power over your emotions.  If you do not forgive, you not only grow in bitterness, but you are giving over your power to another.  By forgiving them, they no longer have a hold over you.  You release them from their ability to impact you further.

So, I think that often God wants us to forgive others not just for the other person's sake but for our own freedom and ability to move on from the hurt and pain that was caused by the other.

So, the lessons from Part 1 and Part 2 as I see them today?  1) Be honest and real.  2) Do not let others hold power over you by letting bitterness take root.