Sept. 11, 2001 was such a tragic day for America. Over 3000 innocent Americans lost their lives. Our country pulled together like never before. Democratic and Republican legislators locked arms on the steps of the capital and sang “God Bless America.” On Sept. 14th,2011, President George W. Bush pledged revenge for the deaths of those innocent victims and our country rallied around him. People hung flags at half-mast and chanted USA! USA! It seemed like we were indeed “one nation under God”.
Today we are at each others throats. Democrats vs. Republicans. Hateful comments on the internet. People killing police for no reason.
I have seen tragedy bring my family together also. When extended family members have cross words or harbor hurt feelings, they always come together. I’ve seen family members who had gone for years without speaking to each other bury the hatchet at a funeral. I’d think maybe they would move forward. But inedibly one of the parties would get offended and the fight would resume.
We want to forgive. We want to move forward. We want to be kind and loving. We want to get along. And we do so for a while. And before we know it our old hurts, insecurities, and self-righteous feelings get in the way and we go back to remembering past injustices, feelings of disrespect and anger.
Why is it so difficult? The reason is that we try to do it in our own strength without God’s help. And that, my friends is impossible!
So when those old feelings of hurt, rejection, disrespect, and the like come back (and they will), ask God to help. And He will. And remember:
- Love the person who offended you. This is easier said than done! You may ask, how do I do that? By praying for them! Do what? Pray. For. Them. It’s very difficult to pray for someone who disrespected you. The first time you pray for someone and you don’t want to, the words will barely come out of you mouth. It will make you angry, but the more you pray, the easier it will be. After a while, those feelings will go from sour to sweet. And God will give you a love for that person. Matthew 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”
- When those negative thoughts come your way, think about something else. Change the subject in your mind. Simply think about something else. Turn on some uplifting music. Watch a funny you tube video. Take a walk. 2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
- Intentionally be kind. Open the door for someone. Smile at others. Do something nice. Those simple things have a way of helping us get our mind off ourselves and our offense. Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
And above all love each other deeply, because LOVE COVERS OVER A MULTITUDE OF SINS. 1 PETER 4:8