Today’s Scripture: Ephesians 4:31-32

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.  (KJV)
Artwork by Ella Hurlbert

Artwork by Ella Hurlbert

Several years ago I found myself in a situation in which I was treated unfairly.  In a big way.  A stunningly, breathtakingly, life-changing way.  At forty-something, I hadn’t really had much experience with this sort of thing (I know, I’ve been lucky), and it threw me for a loop.  For a while, I was beside myself with anger and indignation.

During that time, I heard a country song on the radio:

“So I listened to the preacher as he told me what to do
He said you can’t go hating others who have done wrong to you.
Sometimes we get angry, but we must not condemn.
Let the good Lord do His job and you just pray for them.

I pray your brakes go out runnin’ down a hill
I pray a flowerpot falls from a windowsill and knocks you in the head like I’d like to…”1

Wait, what?  That wasn’t what I expected to hear!  The irony of the lyrics made me laugh out loud, and I felt better than I had in a long time!

Still, there was nothing I could do to change my situation, and I knew that bitterness and revenge were not God’s way.  The only way for me to move forward would be to forgive.  God gives us admonitions throughout the New Testament through Jesus and his disciples.  I believe these are not just rules to take the fun out of life and to make things difficult, but that they are meant to protect us from all kinds of heartache.

In this instance, forgiving makes me a healthier, happier person.  It is good for my blood pressure and all of the relationships in my life, especially my relationship with God.

It isn’t easy, and I’m not always successful, but it’s what God expects me to try to do.  And if I need an irreverent laugh to get me through some days, I think God is o.k. with that, too!

Dear God, Help me to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving of all those who cross my path. Amen.

P.S. My husband would like me to mention that it wasn’t him!

[1] Lyrics to” Pray for You” by Jaron Lowenstein