Thursday, January 11, 2007

Dressing for Sucess in 2007

Posted by Hannah at 8:04 PM

Link to source of picture

Recently I read an article about how we make New Year's Resolutions, and how January is a good time to reflect on those.

I think one of the hardest items at times to shallow is forgiveness. The Author looked back at this past year, and I guess remembering all the best and worse things. You know the programs I'm talking about! One of the greatest stories on Forgiveness is when we hear about the shooting in that Amish School house! You remember that story?

Biblical understanding of God’s commandment to forgive and the connection between grace and forgiveness. You all remember. It happened in the aftermath of one of the saddest days of 2006. This past October a man entered the West Nickel Mines Schoolhouse and gunned down five Amish school girls. What a nightmare. He did not know the girls and had no particular reason to gun down that group of children. But even in that gruesome story there was beauty. The response of the Amish was a lesson in true forgiveness. Donald Craybill, a professor of Antibaptist Religion at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania described that the blood was barely dry on the floor when the parents of the girls sent words of forgiveness to the family of the one who had slain their children. If you remember the story, not only did they send words but they also followed it up with action. Of the 75 people who were in attendance at the funeral of the killer, half of them were Amish. The gesture even went further than a graveside presence when the Amish also set up a fund for the assassin’s family. The Amish take Jesus’ call to turn the other cheek, to love your enemies, and the forgiveness clause in the Lord’s Prayer as a way of life. This is what they practice. And to me it was a lesson to take with us into 2007, a lesson to try and adapt to our own faith practice and life.

I read this and I thought WOW if I could only be so good! LOL! Its something to strive for isn't it?

And what if we decided to try on some of these spiritual articles of clothing in the New Year? What if we say that in our dress for success world, we want to be clothed in Compassion and kindness, in humility and weakness, in patience, and in forgiveness and love? I personally think the hardest article of clothing for us to put on is the one of forgiveness. Do we really want to wear it? Perhaps we can take those other nice virtues and leave the forgiveness one in the dressing room and not even try it on. Miroslav Volf, professor at Yale University discussed the importance of these virtues in an article called “Letting Go” which appeared in the Christian Century Magazine two weeks ago. He said that many Jews have argued that we must not forget evil. And he is right about that. If we forget, we fun the risk that evil will happen again. But Mr. Volf says that it is important to forgive as when we forgive those who have wronged us, we make God’s miracle of forgiveness our own.

But forgiveness is a two way street. That is pretty clearly spelled out to us in the Lord’s Prayer. Forgive, as we have been forgiven. And as Mr. Volf described, “Do we not long to be accepted as we are, warts and all? Could not the world of perfect love be such a world in which we are loved notwithstanding all our imperfections? We do long to be accepted unconditionally? But we also want others to see past our warts and to concentrate on what is beautiful about who we are. I hope that both these longings will be satisfied. At the transition from the world as it is to the world to come, all of our imperfections will be known, and we will be loved nonetheless – and therefore forgiven, reconciled, transformed. And then in the world of perfect love we will shine in all our beauty, our warts completely cured.”

The article is awesome and very moving! I recommend you give it a look! LINK

I think true forgiveness is the hardest thing to wear! In our anger at times that is the LAST thing on our minds! Forgivness is not something you do for the other person - you do this for yourself! People don't even need to know about it! There are times of course that you may wish to share this, but then there are other times in which it is best to keep it to ourselves! Abusers tend to use forgiveness as a tool of manipulation. "You just can't forgive that is YOUR problem!" "You need to forgive and forget so we can move on!" They are demanding something from you so they may use this as a tool for themselves. Its NOT for them! Do we need to forgive? Of course we need to forgive, but not for the reasons abusers wish it for! We let go of the uglies, bitterness, rage, etc because the energy it sucks from us, and for the focus we can't have that God wishes us to have!

As I was looking for a picture to dress this section up a bit I saw the picture that starts this entry, but I also read a poem that is so great!

Brenda Terrell

When a hurtful word is spoken
Or an unkind deed is done
I always must remember
I am not the only one
Who has ever been mistreated
Stepped upon or pushed aside
By thoughtless harmful actions
Or selfish hateful pride.

The world is full of people
Who purposely abuse
Who lie and cheat and slander
And manipulate and use
Anyone and everyone
Who might get in their way
Of success or fame or power;
No price too big to pay.

God's word is clear and simple
About what I must do
When I have been offended
By friend or foe's misuse:
"Forgive...and be forgiven"
I dare not keep a score--
Seventy times seven
Times seven hundred more.

When I am unforgiving,
The battle I'll not win;
For I need my Father's mercy
To blot out all my sin.
Forgiving is not easy
Yet I know it can be done:
I look to Christ my Savior,
The Holy, Sinless One.

When Jesus died upon the cross
His words rang clear and true,
"Father, please forgive them,
For they know not what they do."
As the Precious Lamb of God
Christ wants me to see:
Forgiving is the power
That sets my spirit free!
Forgiveness is God's wondrous gift
That sets my spirit free!

The author of this site as another awesome picture similiar to the above!! LINK

I'm going to try for my coat of forgiveness, and KEEP the darn thing on as often - or should I say MORE often (Since it is a new year! LOL) than I ever have in the past! I want to say 'often' because I know I will fall at some point, and I want to give myself a break so I can continue to do better this year anyway!

Any resolutions for you this year??

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Anonymous said...

It's taken decades for me to understand the nature of forgiveness, that it is not something one can necessarily accomplish instantly. Perhaps with the intellect, but emotionally I believe it is a process.

I believe that true forgives involves the will and the emotions. If we have the will, God will work on our emotions. But some hurts, such as the deep woundedness from childhood abuse, for example, may take a lifetime to heal. And I think that's okay. We are to have truth in our inward parts, not just be compliant on the outside, parroting what is expected of us.

Hannah on 9:55 AM said...

I agree with you! Forgiveness is a process!

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