Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Why Is Forgiving so Hard?

I posted awhile back on how our forgiveness from God is conditional on our forgiving others.  So forgiveness is really, really important if we want to receive God's forgiveness.

So why is forgiving others sometimes so hard?

Especially when the consequences of the offense are still present.  

Especially when the one who was hurt is one I love deeply.

Especially when the one I love is still hurting.

Especially when the one I love is falling into the sin of anger & bitterness & unkindness as a result of the offense.

Especially when the offender is indifferent to the hurt caused.

How can I teach the one I love how to forgive and overcome bitterness when I am having such a hard time with forgiveness, too? 

I want the offender to have to hurt for hurting the one I love.  I want the offender to not just say sorry, but be sorry, act sorry and try to make up for the offense. I want the offender to receive consequences to the offense instead of the one I love getting all the consequences.

And yet I know God calls me to forgive, truly forgive, fully forgive, regardless of the offender's lack of remorse or empathy or repentance.  

I think this needs to be a matter of lots & lots & lots of prayer on my part. Prayer that God would enable me to forgive and keep that forgiveness in place instead of taking it back when I see more consequences in the one I love. Prayer for the one I love to be healed of the pain caused and healed from the tendency to sin against the offender. Prayer for the offender to truly feel remorse, truly feel empathy, truly repent.  


I'm becoming so disillusioned by the Christianity that I am seeing anymore. I see now what my kids have been saying all these years about hypocrisy in the church. It has really turned off a couple of my kids in particular, which really saddens & frustrates me.  

How can Christians reach out to others and draw them to Christ if we don't live it in our day to day lives? Who would want to come to church and to Christ to join a bunch of hypocritical people who are quick to say the right things in the right settings, but when it comes to living it out, not so much. . . 

Thankfully there are some true Christians out there who do live out their faith in their daily lives, but there are not enough of them. But there are a lot fewer of them out there than would claim to be that kind of Christian. It's pretty pathetic, actually, how many of us show one side to "churchy" people and a completely different side to the rest of the world.  

We have so many churches filled with so many people who profess Christianity who live like the world.  So many people who check the correct boxes of all the things that all good Christians should do (go to church, take communion, worship God, give, etc.), but are so quick to fit in with the world after they have checked their boxes.  But it's all ok, because they checked their boxes; they have fulfilled their "Christian requirements," so what they do afterwards is just fine, as long as it's not TOO bad.  Apparently it's ok to kinda, sorta not obey God in the "small" things.  After all, God only cares about the BIG stuff, right?  

I honestly don't get it. I'm not all righteous and perfect, but I love God so much and am so thankful for what He has done for me that I WANT to do what is right; I want to obey Him in ALL things (though I fail often; oh, so often!!). I promise you that I am FAR from the best Christian out there; in fact, I really suck at being a Christian, but I at least WANT to try to do what is right. Some people just don't even give it a second thought when they aren't at church or with their "churchy" people.  

There is such an attitude of permissiveness in Christian churches anymore. Even when people do "come to Christ," too often one would never realize it as nothing really changes except perhaps getting a bit wet and changing the schedule to include a trip or two or three to church each week.  

I firmly believe that when our hearts are right with God, there will be evidence in our daily lives. We won't want to do the things that displease God. We won't want to watch inappropriate things, read inappropriate things, say inappropriate things, do inappropriate things. We won't want to see what we can get away with that isn't too bad. We won't want to see how close to the edge of sin we can get before the sin is TOO big.  

We should be striving to "avoid even the appearance of evil." We should be a light. We should be salt.  

If my husband wanted to just flirt with another woman, nothing too bad, not even touch her, but just flirt, I would so NOT be ok with that!!! But we are flirting with evil when we decide to sin "just a little bit" or just get really close to sinning to see how much fun we can have without doing anything really bad. God is NOT ok with that!!!  

Ok, I'm done. Hope y'all take some slivers out of your eyes if you find any (and I'm sure you have them if you are willing to honestly look at yourselves - we all do!). I'll go take out my log now, as I know I have at least one in there.  

Disclaimer: This post is not targeted at anyone in particular or any church in particular.  This is just a general assessment of what I'm seeing in churches these days.  

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Powerful Preconceptions Prevent Perceptivity

It would be interesting to see what an intelligent person with no previous knowledge of religion or the Bible would come up with reading the Bible from cover to cover.  What doctrines would he come away with?  What church would he go to?  Would that person say baptism is necessary and the point of salvation? (Absolutely) Would that person say instruments in worship are wrong? (Highly doubtful) Would that person say dating or marrying an unbeliever is acceptable?  (Definitely) Would he believe tongues and other gifts of the Spirit are or are not for today?  (I'm not sure.)  Would he really believe the bread and wine of communion became the literal body and blood of Jesus?  (Seriously?)  I could go on & on. . .

If only we could all approach the Word of God with minds willing to learn truth.  But we usually come to the Word with so many of our own preconceived ideas, looking for ways to prove our own beliefs and disprove others' beliefs.  We read with our own beliefs safely cemented in our heads, not allowing the Lord to speak HIS TRUTH to us.  Not willing to consider someone else might be right.   

Where does that leave us?  Right exactly where we started, unwilling to even consider that we might not know absolutely everything that the Bible teaches.  Unwilling to study to see if what we think we know is really truth.  Pretty pathetic, huh?

Perhaps one should approach the Bible a bit differently. Perhaps one should ask God to show HIS TRUTH to us.  

What are the chances that that will ever actually happen? 

Not very good.  

So sad. . . . . .