8 Habits of a Forgiving Heart

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How do we heal from those wounds for which no restitution can be made? How do we extend true forgiveness when we don’t feel like forgiving? How do we ease that burning in our hearts for justice?

Forgiveness is one of the most challenging commands given to the Christian. Sometimes complete forgiveness takes more than a day, a week, a month, or even a decade. What we feel on the inside must not dictate our actions on the outside. We must make a conscious effort to obey God externally while fighting the battle internally.

In the previous post, we discussed Peter’s flawed question of how many times we ought to forgive. Today, I hope to encourage you to develop a mindset of forgiveness, particularly for those hurts which run deep.

Forgiveness is not merely an action, it is an attitude we must develop and nurture until we return to dust. Continue reading

What is Your ‘Why’?

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In the race of life, there are moments when we forget why we are running. We focus on how to be better, faster, and stronger. We waste fruitless hours bemoaning the uneven ground, the unexpected rocks, the sand in our shoes, and more. We see something lovely,  our breath momentarily suspended, only to trip over our own feet and hit the ground.

It’s a long, hard race.

(Can I get an amen?)

In this race, every person, at some moment in time asks the question, ‘Why am I here?’ or ‘Why am I doing this?’.

Indeed, why are you here?

Why do you do what you do?

What do you want to be remembered for when you cross the finish line?

For myself, the past seven years have been like a never-ending obstacle course. I’ve bounded over hurdles, climbed ropes (and mountains), dodged flying objects—all in the effort to keep forward momentum. I cannot count the times I hit the ground and wondered aloud, “why on earth am I here?”

The answer is simple: I am here to glorify God. That is, and always has been, God’s intended purpose for my life and the lives of countless others. That is my “why.”

My “why” should dictate how to best serve God, my family and those within my circle of influence.

Whys from the Word

Why #1: I serve Christ

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.
You are serving the Lord Christ.

~ ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:23-24‬ 

Why #2: I fear the Lord.

The end of the matter; all has been heard.
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.

~ Ecclesiastes 12:13

Why #3: I love God and my neighbors.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God,
and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

~ 1 John 4.7-8

 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels,
but have not love,
I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains,
but have not love,
I am nothing.

If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,
but have not love,
I gain nothing.

~ 1 Corinthians 13.1-3

We glorify God when we serve Him, fear Him and love Him.

“But, my job is lousy and my boss is a jerk!”

Who are you working for? You are working to provide for your family because you love them. You are working to provide for yourself so as not to burden others. You are working for the Lord. Remember your “Why.”

“My spouse/kids/parents fail to appreciate anything I do!”

Did Jesus’ disciples appreciate everything He did for them? Not really. If we love God and love others, we will love like Jesus loved.

“I can’t talk about God at work or at school. I’ll get fired/disciplined.”

Who do you fear more? God or people? Be an example of joy, hope, faith, and love. Be prepared to give an answer for the hope within you. Don’t hesitate to give credit where it is due. If you are working diligently and cheerfully in a lousy situation and someone asks, ‘How can you possibly be happy in this doing this?!’, you reply, ‘I’m working for the Lord.’ In doing this, you will have shown and spoken your purpose. Fear God.

Is life frustrating and purposeless for you? Make a list of the things which seem meaningless and ask yourself if you are fulfilling the purpose of the Lord by doing these things. If you are not, you need to re-evaluate what you are doing and adjust how or what you are doing to fulfill the Lord’s purpose for you.