As I was sweeping the living room, I thought about the gift of living parents. There are so many people that are my age that face life knowing that their parents are no longer living. Around the same time, I thought about the lyrics to the popular hymn, “Because He Lives”. The line that I remember the most is quoted below.
“God sent his son. They call him “Jesus”. He came to love, heal and forgive.” (Gaither)
Almost immediately, God spoke to my spirit. He said this: For those of us representing the Christian faith, God gave the believers in Jesus Christ a mission. That mission is to live outwardly our faith. One of the many ways we can live faithfully, is to have a nurturing spirit. That nurturing spirit is a reflection of God. We are God’s ambassadors!
We are to love.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Love is many things, but love is never a quitter. Love does not bow out when circumstances get almost unbearable. Love is anchored by a hopeful mindset. To love others means to love yourself. People who respect themselves well can give proper honor and consideration to others. Love lacks passion and discipline when it is predicated on compliance. Those of us who are working on Christ-like character must let our love be one of consistency. We must kindly love regardless of what the other person does. Many of us believe that some action is better than no action. If an action is careless, what worth does it truly have.
The truth is: Love is far more binding if its actions are honest. Say it like you mean it. Do it without a grudge.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. – Matthew 22:39 (KJV)
We are to heal.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you – Matthew 5:44 (KJV)
Disability, many times follows abuse. The abuse may be physical, mental, or spiritual. It is more difficult to be a healing presence when the people in our environment are prone to violent outbursts of anxiety. People often emulate and model the example closest to them. We must first begin healing ourselves before we can heal others. In the scripture above, “despite” is another word for malice. Often, people with disabilities are prisoners of war. Unsurprisingly, they are the sometimes the last to know that they are in mental and or physical trouble. Truthfully, not everyone who cares for a disabled person is emotionally fit for the toil that follows being a caretaker. There are times when the only option for healing is to end relationship.
We are to forgive.
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you – Matthew 6:14 (KJV)
Forgiveness is difficult. Realistically, many people would rather sulk or plot. What is a trespass. One can think of it as broken pieces. A “trespass” is like that Ming vase that gets shattered when rough-hosing in a really nice area. “Trespass” is the dishonest thing that the oppressor got away with. “Trespass” is crime. Think of the sign: “Do Not Enter”. It’s the same idea.Of course, one believes that the guilty getting deserved punishment is “vindication”. It’s not truly vindication if one is involved directly in causing harm for the other person. All of us will go through a period of pain. Forgive is not for them. Those who have forgiven others will try and convince an audience that a genuine apology is a license for weakness. However, a true act of forgiveness is for you.
It’s important to move on because the wounds of the past will impact our future. The wounded we are internally, the more wounded our relationships will be. There are episodes in life when the act of forgiveness is delayed. Mostly, the act is delayed because there is a personal struggle that exist within the person(s) who took offense. Feelings can leave wounded relationships suspended in time. Surely, feelings are important. Yes, emotions are real. Consequently, the price of denied and unaddressed emotion drags the human spirit into a downward spiral.
It is my prayer that my readers have been blessed today. I wish you hope, growth and life.
Character still counts!