Tag Archive Forgiveness

ByJennifer A. Janes

Success Is Possible, Even After You’ve Blown It

As moms, we’re pretty hard on ourselves. If dinner burns, we forgot to get five things at the grocery store (although, in all fairness, they weren’t on the list), the kids misbehaved in Sunday school, or the neighbor complains that our dog is too noisy, we’re quick to blame ourselves. But what about when a marriage struggles, relationships with our children are strained, or we lose a job? Right. We blame ourselves there too.

 

Success is possible, Even after you've blown it - Jennifer A. Janes - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven - RaisingStickyHands.com

 

We’re human. Of course we bear part of the blame! But most of these scenarios involve situations and people that we can’t control on our own. So we aren’t wholly to blame, even though it feels like it.

 

How do you recover from failures like these? How do you survive the stress and strain? How do you find success again? There are solutions, and they’re not as complicated as you might expect, whether the issues are big or small:

 

 

  • Seek forgiveness. From God, the people you’ve hurt or offended, and yourself. Without forgiveness, you may find a root of bitterness, anger, or resentment taking root, and that will make your problems worse, not better.
  • Ask God what you can do to change the situation. Obviously, a recipe that needs tweaking will be much easier to fix than a relationship that needs repair. God has the answers for every situation, and He can show you exactly what to do to facilitate the healing and restoration that need to take place.
  • Pray for the other people involved. Pray that while God is doing a work in you, that the other people involved in the situation will allow Him to work in their lives too.
  • Remember that your today doesn’t define your tomorrow. While we sometimes have to live with the consequences of today’s choices for a long time, it doesn’t mean that we’re trapped into continuing along the same path indefinitely. You can choose to make a different choice today than you made yesterday, and God is right there to help you do it.
  • Take deep breaths. If you’re living in the aftermath of abuse or divorce, it can be easy to respond as if the family members in your life today are the same ones who caused you so much pain and heartache in the past. Don’t let your past ruin your relationships with people who behave like they’re supposed to but are human and make mistakes. I have had to do this when confronted with possible trust issues with my husband. He is not the man who hurt me so many years ago.

Obviously, these are pretty vague, and they don’t apply equally to all situations, but the basic principles are there. God can help you through any failure you find yourself in. He will see you through all the pain and heartache to the other side, if you will surrender yourself to Him to bring the healing and restoration you need.

ByJudye

Teaching Repentance & Forgiveness To Our Children… While Learning The Lesson Ourselves

Photo Credit: Brandon Heller

Photo Credit: Brandon Heller

My little boy, J.R. was five when he knocked over the big Christmas tree.

I was in the kitchen when I heard the crash & knew immediately what happened. Knowing I would have a mess to clean up, broken decorations & a sick looking tree, I made my way toward the destruction.

On the way, I heard a mumbling noise & the cat scampered by in retreat as I rounded the corner to inspect the rubble. There, in the farthest corner of the couch, with his head under a pillow was my little boy – both hands raised in the air, praying loudly & fervently for God to forgive him and help him not get a “whippin’.

What can you do after seeing your little boy doing what you taught him? When you do something wrong – repent quickly. He did. Quickly and loudly. He knew what was coming though. No, I did not spank him, but we did have a long talk right before he helped me clear away the mess.

I think God is so merciful to us – right in the middle of our mess – when we need a whippin’ – He gives us mercy when we genuinely repent. He’ll even clean up the mess if needed – that’s how much He loves you.

ByAngie

If We Can Just Make It In Before The Storm

Well, here I am again… with another old family tale from my childhood for you. Another event in my life that God reminded me of again recently and taught me a lesson with. Hope it’s not too boring. Enjoy!

My Sweet Grandma, Taken around the time of this story...

When I was 5 years old (about to turn 6) my Grandpa, Mom, and little brother all packed up into the car to go visit family in Kentucky. Because of my being enrolled in first grade, my Grandma and I stayed behind. Most would be upset that their trip would require them to be gone over my 6th birthday. But not I! Grandma and I had BIG plans.

One of these big plans, was a trip to Pic N Save, which is now “Big Lots”. I know, I know, bear with me here. I was a kid, and that place was full of cheap stuff to buy with birthday & first lost tooth money!

So we got ourselves dolled up and jumped in the car. I still remember picking out a perfect hot pink back pack and a bunch of rinky dink toys. But before we knew it the weather was changing from a perfect Southern California Autumn day into a cold, dark, windy, and rainy mess. Being that Grandma refused to drive in either the dark or rain, we had a problem. Before we started on our way we prayed. “Jesus, please let us just make it home before the storm. Amen.”

My 6th birthday at McDonalds! Loading up on the spending money!

About half way home, the thunder and lightning started. The rain was coming down so hard that we couldn’t see. We were both scared and nervous. Storms like this are rare in our neck of the woods, you see, and she hadn’t driven in these conditions in quite some time. “Oh Jesus, please, protect us and let us make it home safe. Just let us get home before the storm. If we can just make it in before the storm, I know we’ll be okay.”

To not show her upset, she started talking about how wonderful the night in at home would be. There would be hot chocolate and marshmallows. We could watch the lightning show from the window and wear our cozy jammies and slippers. It was to be a grand ol’ time! But once again she prayed, “Lord Jesus, If we can just make it in before the storm, I know we’ll be okay.” I kept thinking, “She does know the storm has already hit, right?” but never said anything. Just went with it.

This went on for a few miles, and finally we were home safe and sound. Sure enough though, as soon as we got in the storm got worse. We did as planned and enjoyed our time together, laughing at how scared we were on the way home from the discount store.

Someday soon, Jesus is going to come back for the church. Life from now until then may get unpleasant. In fact, it’s going to get really unpleasant. The storm is going to hit and things are going to get really nasty. Just watch the news one night and you’ll see it’s already begun, just as we are told in the book of Revelation.

But if we can just make it in before the storm…

What the world is going through now is NOTHING like what it will be. The awesome news is that the body of believers will be taken away right before the storm really gets going. Just like Grandma and I sat all comfy cozy with our hot chocolate, the church will be in Heaven shouting and rejoicing without a worry or a care when the storm hits hard. Until then we must pray. “God, protect us from what is going on, and Jesus come quickly!”

But what if you’re not ready?

All you have to do is ask for forgiveness. Simple as that. Believe in Him. Change your ways. “Go and Sin No More.” (John 8:11)

Before we know it the storm will be over. Just hang tight. Until then, lift up your head, for your redemption draws near… (Luke 21:27) Because we WILL make it in before the storm, and it really is all going to be okay!

BySherry

The Power Of Forgiving Others

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. –Ephesians 4:31-32

 

One thing that my husband and I have taught our children is to always apologize and forgive when needed.  It is not always easy, and teaching them to forgive and actually mean it is a whole different story.  My son does this easier than my teenage daughter.  Getting them to really forgive has been hard.  It has helped to remind them of Ephesians 4:32.  To know that we should forgive others because God forgave us is thought provoking.

This past year, as I was looking for a counselor, I got a call from someone from who was related to the man who abused me.  It was a very hard phone call to take and I was very quiet until the shock wore off.  I finally told this person to not contact me anymore.

As I was going through counseling, I went through all of the emotions of my past as if they had just happened.  I also realized that the person who contacted me was very much a part of my abuse as she would put me in harm’s way if I didn’t do what this man wanted me to do.  She would be the one who would sic the dog on me; she would be the one to coerce me into this.  I also found out if she didn’t, the man would do the same to her.  So I was her scapegoat.

About a month later, I received a message on my Facebook page.  It was a nice message telling me how they were praying for me and hoped I was getting the help I needed.  I have to admit, that really pushed my buttons!

It is not easy for me to forgive someone who has hurt me.  It is not easy to forgive someone who has hurt my family.  It is easy to put it behind us and continue to hold that grudge.  To tell people, “I don’t like so and so, because they did this to me.”  That causes dissension between the people.

I took quite some time to write the person back.  When I did, I wrote the words, “I can, through God’s help, forgive your family”.  As soon as those words were written I felt a weight lift off of my shoulders.  I felt a freedom that I’ve never felt before.  The reward of forgiving was peace and freedom.

Does this mean I have to confront people to forgive them?  Do I wait until they apologize?  No, not at all!!!  I have never been apologized to for my abuse.  Yet, I forgave.  It also doesn’t mean you have to run everyone who has hurt you and tell them you forgive them.

It also doesn’t mean that you have to be friends with them. God does sometimes put the people back into your life, not always though.  This doesn’t mean you continue to be bitter toward them, but be Christ-like toward them.  Love them with the love of God.  When Satan brings up the past, forgive the person again. It is a daily process at times, but you can do it.

My challenge for you this week is to really forgive someone who has hurt you.  If you talk with them, or not, get down on your knees and ask God to help you forgive with the same forgiveness that He has given you.  Then either call that person, or write it down in a journal or letter, and forgive them.

Dear Jesus,

I thank you today for dying on the cross for my sins, for forgiving me when You didn’t have to. Thank you for those who are reading this and making changes in their lives to become more like You.  Father, I ask as they are forgiving others, you bring a freedom to their lives as You have brought me.  I ask this in Jesus name, Amen.

 

ByAngie

What Must God Think?

Yesterday, I turned my back on my 3 year old son for a minute while I cared for my infant. When I turned around, I wanted to both laugh and cry. He had gotten into a RED ink pad and smeared it all over him, the wall, and the carpet.

I took him right in, cleaned him up, and told him why we do not do things like this. Frustrated? Yes, but I kept my cool. At that point I think I was just relieved it wasn’t blood!

Minutes later, as I was still cleaning up the mess, I heard the kitchen sink turn on. I stood up from where I was cleaning ink out of the carpet. Lo and behold, there was the same child standing on a chair at the sink playing in the water. Right back to the bathroom for clean up.

The rest of the day was full of constant lectures on why we don’t do certain things. (Why kids always decide to learn so much of these lessons in one day is beyond me…)

Imagine how it is for God. We are CONSTANTLY getting in to things we shouldn’t. Making one mess after another, while He is constantly cleaning up our messes. How frustrated our good Lord must be.

However, just as we still love our children, our Heavenly Father loves us. He wants nothing but the best for us, and will give us as many chances as we need to get it right.

Remember, He is a loving God. A forgiving God. Not a judgmental, begrudging, and hateful God. He wants what is best for you. Won’t you let him help you clean up the mess of your past?

Today, I am thankful for grace and patience. What about you?

ByAngie

Say Goodbye To The Past, Say Hello To Your Legacy

Don't look back!

Some of you may be wondering:

How can I have a legacy that carries on when I have such an un-Godly past behind me? Doesn’t that leave me marred somehow?

We’ve all done things. Some of us more so than others. But then we came to know Jesus, and he washed all of those sins away.

Now that you’re on your new found path, you stress. But why?

Um, maybe because my past is troubling me…

I’ve struggled with this myself before. I used to always worried that I was unworthy or incapable of teaching my children the ways of the Lord because I was not always pure. But there are a few things I want to point out to you that helped me…

No, sin, you're dead. I won't be seeing you anywhere. Adios!

  1. Our sins are forgotten. As if they never happened. Sure, people may remember them, but that is not what matters. God does not. They are gone, washed away. Hallelujah! Your past does NOT impact your future walk with God. Isn’t that wonderful?
  2. How much do you know about your Mom, Grandma, and others? I’m willing to bet that even if they are not walking with God there are plenty of details you have no idea about. And whatever you do, don’t go digging! It’s none of your business!
  3. Look at David: He did SO many sinful things. Too many to list in a short blog post. But go read your Bible and you’ll see. Why does that matter? Well, he succeeded at many things in spite of all his sin. He was the Psalmist. He was a king. He was favored…. He was the ancestor of JESUS! If he can carry on THAT kind of legacy, why can’t you or I?

Nothing in your past has anything to do with the legacy you will pass down unless you allow it to. So stand tall, hold your head high, and teach your children the way they need to be taught. Never hold back or feel insecure. Tell them all about our Father and be confident.

After all, if you’re not confident, why would they want what you have? Be the example!

ByAngie

A “Simple” Calling: The Social Networker

Just by being here reading this, you fit into this category. You are reading a blog, which is a form of social networking. Chances are you are on Facebook, Twitter, and other message boards or websites where you interact with others.

How exactly can one minister to others in this venue? The list is long and varied, but we’ll go over just a few… It’s rather similar to the “simple” calling of friendship, but slightly different.

  • When you see a friend or follower is having a bad day, let them know you’re praying for them… and then REALLY DO PRAY FOR THEM. Send them a message of encouragement! A couple days later, ask them how things are going.
  • Invite those in your area to your church. Post an invite on Saturday and ask that they message you for the address. See if they need a ride if you are capable.
  • Write a “note” about how God has blessed you and those you know lately.
  • Worship song stuck in your head? Post a link. If you’re enjoying it, chances are good someone else will also.
  • When a scripture is laid on your heart, post it. It may just be what someone else needs to read.
  • Post prayer requests for those who are in need of prayer. Get the word out that someone needs to touch God and needs a miracle. You can never have too many prayers.
  • Keep your statuses uplifting, encouraging, non-confrontational, and clear. If you feel the need to post about your bad day and are seeking support from friends from time to time, go ahead. But try to have more positive posts than negative ones. When you are angry at someone on your friends list or that is following you, try your hardest not to post a vague update that will only cause confusion. Keep confrontations private. As I said before, we may be the only Bible some people read. When you act out in anger in such a large arena you are only making yourself look silly. (I’m speaking from experience. We’ve all done it, right? Forgive me, Lord.)

It may feel as though you are not making a difference with this ministry, but I certainly guarantee that you are.

What are some other ways that you use Facebook, Twitter, or another social network as a ministry? I’d love to hear your answers!

ByAngie

Living Your Legacy: Walking The Walk And Talking The Talk

It’s really easy to get an idea of what we would LIKE for our legacy to be. Living that legacy, well, that can be another story, right? Just like everything else in parenting, easier said than done.

So how can we set those examples before our children and others?

Well, first of all, we must strive daily to NOT be a “Do as I say, not as I do” parent. Telling our children to live one way while we live another is obviously not the way to achieve a Godly legacy.

Second, if we want our children to grow up and have meaningful relationships we must show them that by our example also. Being a true friend, a loving wife, a good daughter, etc are all ways for them to learn how to interact with others on their own. If we talk trash behind others backs, hold grudges, allow our husbands to put us down or abuse us emotionally or physically, disrespect our husbands, and argue consistently with our families then our children will believe that these actions are acceptable. Plain and simple. When your kids are grown and they shine in their relationships, I guarantee someone is going to say “They must have had a really fantastic mother.” Seriously.

I have to remind myself of these things EVERY day. I am human, and sometimes I have to stop myself and say “Hey! Don’t be a hypocrite! Little eyes are watching you, as are those of others who expect you to be what you say, a Christian. Shape up!”

Thankfully, with diligent prayer and discipline, we can do our best and bring up our children to know the Lord and live his ways… I’m going to try my hardest. Will you?

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6 NKJV

 

ByAngie

A “Simple” Calling: The Ministry of Friendship

A friend loves at all times… Proverbs 17:17 NKJV

This calling is a rather obvious one… but I would like to still touch on the topic of friendship.

What does it mean to be a true friend? Is it just a social thing? Obviously, it is not. If it were, we would not become so emotional when a friend is lost. Does it mean to be dependable? How about caring? Being a good listener? Offering advice when requested? Understanding and compassionate? I think all of those things and so much more are what make a good friend.

How many times have you been having a bad day, but a good friend called and you instantly cheered right up? I know for me, personally, I have just a few friends that I can vent to. Isn’t it nice to have someone who you can rant to and know that they won’t think differently of you for it? How about knowing you have someone praying for you when you need it? Or a friend who will be honest when your hair color washes you out and you’re jeans make you look great? And of course, it’s great to know you can turn to someone, pour your heart out, and know that anything you tell them won’t be passed on to someone else.

We should always strive to be a good friend, not a mediocre one. We can’t be perfect, but we should try to not be flaky, negative, or distant. Reliable, uplifting, close, and available as much as possible.

What are some ways you can minister to a friend though?

  • Pray: Offer to pray for/with your friend whether it is something small or large. The need for prayer is always there.
  • Offer Help: Sure, you have your own family to tend to… And yes, they should come first. But when you can, help out your friend(s). Maybe they’re sick and need a little help with the kids/house/meals. When a friend has a baby, offer to bring over a meal and hold the baby while they shower or nap.
  • Listen: Sometimes we just need someone to hear us out. Don’t give your opinion or feel as though you need to solve the problem. Just listen.
  • Accept Advice: You know, sometimes I don’t know everything. When someone offers advice, I try not to act like a know-it-all or tell them why I think their idea wouldn’t work. I simply say, whether I like the advice or not, “I’ll keep that in mind!” Sometimes a friend just needs to feel as though they are helping, and by being rude all you are doing is causing confusion. You never know, you may remember what they said for yourself or someone else down the road and be glad you listened.
  • Avoid Being Critical: Depending on the friendship, you may be able to give a close friend constructive criticism. Like I said, and let me highlight: Depending on the friendship! Don’t be mean, negative, or downright inconsiderate. Remember the persons feelings. How would you feel if they did that to you?
  • Apologize: We all make mistakes. Sometimes we do things without realizing it. If you think you may have done something, intentional or not, to offend someone then please tell them you are sorry.
  •  Be There: Do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it. This is a big “ouch” for me, as I’m always having to cancel things for various reasons. I used to never do that! Something to work on!
  • Be A Witness: Invite your friends to join you in church or begin a devotional/Bible study.
  • Make Time: When possible, meet with your friend and spend some quality time together.
  • Don’t Be Sensitive: No one is perfect. Not even your friends. Cut them some slack.
  • Avoid Jealousy: You are not your friend’s only friend. They have other relationships with other people. Don’t be “That Friend” that feels they have to be a part of every. single. thing… Be an individual!!!

Remember, you can’t choose your family… You CAN choose your friends… CHOOSE WISELY!!! Never let anyone walk all over you in the name of “friendship.” Show God’s love, yes. Be a door mat, no.

And now, in honor of Karen and her love for nostalgic television, I leave you with this… Get the cheesecake!

ByAngie

How To Build Your Own Lemonade Stand Step 2: Forgive

14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV

Last week I wrote on grieving. Sometimes, once we have completed that step we realize we need to forgive in order to be able to move on.

I can not stress enough how important this step is. If you simply skip over it, your lemonade will be VERY bitter!

Forgiveness is rarely easy to just hand out. It can be a struggle to let go of anger and hurt that is rightfully felt. Especially if the forgiveness needs to be given to someone who does not care, denies their fault, is unknown, clueless of their action, or did something unbearably horrible.

Something equally difficult is forgiving ourselves. It is often said that we are our own worst critics. Isn’t that the truth? I don’t know anyone who is as hard on me as I am on myself.

Regardless, we are required to forgive if we want to be forgiven. What all does this entail? Well, let’s look at the definition from Webster’s:

Definition of FORGIVE

transitive verb

1a: to give up resentment of or claim to requital for <forgive an insult> b: to grant relief from payment of <forgive a debt>
2: to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) :pardon <forgive one’s enemies>

Do you have to be friends with the person and act like nothing ever happened? Absolutely not! But forgive and move on? Yes.

Easier said than done, right? It usually takes quite a chunk of prayer time to be able to achieve this step. As with all things in life, pray for God to help you. Pray for guidance. Pray for forgiveness from Him. But I guarantee that once you do reach that point, you will feel so much better. Then, you can move right along with making that lemonade!