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Posts tagged ‘forgiveness’

Break the Cycle

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I’ve been working really hard to be that person. It’s not an easy feat, at all, but when I look at the world today and see so much hatred, ignorance, cruelty, and bitterness, how can I just be a part of that? Sometimes I look at how people treat others and wonder how they came to act that way. I wonder if they were hurt somehow and ask myself what if they’d been shown some compassion, love, forgiveness, or acceptance? What if they had been taught to do the same by someone? Maybe they’d been hurt really badly, but what if just one person had shown them there was a different way to handle things?

We are NOT what happened to us. We are NOT our pasts. We are NOT our mistakes. We are NOT our illnesses. We are NOT defined by the color of our skin, what neighborhood we come from, who are parents are, how much money we have or don’t have for that matter, our political views, our sexual orientation, or any of that which many decide should label us.

We CAN be whatever we choose, no matter what others say we should be. We CAN be greater than the choices we’ve made thus far. We CAN be better than we have been. We CAN make a difference. One person CAN change things for those around them. We don’t have to let the cycle continue. Don’t let the cycle define or confine you. Let the anger, resentment, bitterness, vengeful actions, and state of constant sadness stop here. The choice is yours.

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The Not So Easy Christian Life

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Some say that God won’t give you more than you can handle

But here’s the thing, sometimes it still feels like it’s too much

Sometimes we feel like we’re drowning and like there’s no way out

Sometimes we doubt and sometimes we lose faith

 

Some say that God will always provide a way out of temptation

But guess what, sometimes we don’t see the way out

And sometimes we blatantly wish not to see it

Sometimes we want to give in to it and just dive in head first

 

Some say that it must be so easy to be a Christian

But in truth, sometimes it’s really not so easy

We’re constantly judged, seen as holier than thou

Sometimes people won’t give us the chance they want to be given

 

Some think we don’t struggle the way others do

But that’s not true, we do and sometimes we feel alone

Sometimes we fail, we fall short, and fall down

And sometimes we need understanding, compassion, and forgiveness

 

Those that truly love and follow Christ are not pure rays of sunshine

There is light and dark within all of us

And for as much as non Christians wish to be seen, heard, and not judged

We wish the same thing for ourselves too

 

It’s not just so simple to stay on the path that God has set before us

There are those that call themselves Christian, but then judge harshly

Which makes everyone who wears that title look bad

And it is frustrating to those who are just trying to show His love

 

The life of a Christian is not simply about going to church

It’s not just about giving, donating, and giving of our time

There is so much more to it than people on the outside see

We just want people to open up their eyes and see us for who we are

 

We have flaws, insecurities, doubts, and struggle with life too

What gets us through that is God, prayer, and one another

Though sometimes we don’t just simply get through it

Do you not see that we’re human too?

 

We’re mocked, criticized, put down, and shut out

Some hear the word Christian and turn us away

We have been beaten and killed for our beliefs

And not just in foreign countries, but here at home as well

 

Being a Christian is about more than a title

More than wearing a cross around our necks

More than about the scriptures we quote

And more than just the words we sing in worship

 

It’s about love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness

It’s about being a beacon of light and of hope to others

It’s about that while we know we too fall short

That there is someone that loves us no matter what

 

It’s about showing the same to everyone else

Which includes ourselves, which isn’t always so easy to do

It’s about the chance at salvation He’s given us

And about spreading His word, so that others may believe too

 

It’s not about judgement, for none of us have that right

It’s not about who has the nicest home, clothes, and car

It’s not about your past or how dark it may have been

It’s about your future and how amazing it can be

 

The reality of it all is that we know not everyone will agree

Some will continue to hate us, but we’re still called to try

And as much as you want respect for your beliefs

We want the same from you in return

Letting Go

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On the defensive, you retreat
Trying to shield yourself from harm
So high and thick is the wall you have built
Refusing to allow anyone to gain entrance
Yet you’re more vulnerable than ever

You hold a weapon to defend yourself
A sword made from angry and hateful words
They slice through your enemy like butter
Feeling vindicated for the suffering they put you through
And yet still peace doesn’t find you

Confused, surely once you defeated them
You thought you’d be happy, safe, & free
Instead you find yourself more hurt than before
Will it ever really end, you wonder
Will I ever really be alright?

The saying goes, an eye for an eye
One doesn’t just let people walk all over them
You have to fight fire with fire, right?
Let them feel the pain that they caused me!
Surely then I will win and this will all end!

Though now you truly see the damage that’s been done
And among the battles scattered ashes, no one has won
Iron fists of hatred tore you all down
The wall you built is in ruins beneath you
Tell me, was it worth it?

It may seem easier to strike back
To avenge your broken heart
And let bitterness overtake you
Than to let go of the pain and to forgive
But in the end, tell me which one brings peace?

Staring at my reflection in the mirror
I ask that question again
And tell myself, “It’s time to let go.”
I open the doors within my mind
And try to make some sense of what’s inside

As pain and hatred make their way to the door
They tell me they’d really like to stay
But I tell them they’ve worn out their welcome
The time for healing has come
I’m done feeling so worn out, so very tired

As each painful memory begins to heal
A scar forms, but they don’t hurt
They remind me of where I have been
And of who I used to be
But they no longer hold power over me

I’ll never forget what has happened
And nor will I ever forget who I was
But only because I want to become someone better
Each and every single day, that is my desire
To be a better me than I was the day before

Each day, I feel a little freer
My soul soars with the eagles up high
On the wings of the most beautiful butterfly
Hope gives me courage to try
And love gives me the strength to fly

Beneath

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There was a time long ago

Or maybe not so long ago at all

When I couldn’t feel Your presence

Though You were right there with me

Upon a tornardo, I spun

Wreckless, I tore through town

Doing as I pleased

Never fully facing the consequences

Giving into peer pressure

Partying it up

Staying up late

Hey let me take another hit

The lines between my realities blurred

A yearning for something better stirred

But getting the nerve to change

Can be very difficult to say the least

Beneath the fear and uncertainty

Desire for a good life beat within my chest

I always told myself

Someday I would find a way

Many mistakes were made

I tried to lie, cheat, and steal my way through life

Always trying to excuse what I did

By blaming those who I felt had ruined me

It was never my fault you see

The blame shifted from person to person

My parents, kids at school, and so on

I’d have turned out okay if it wasn’t for them

Beneath the self pity and self loathing

Desire for forgiveness and love flowed within my veins

One day I will stop making excuses

And learn how to really live

Beneath the wreckage

A beautiful soul begins to emerge

Over time, healing began

Slow, but it’s been forward progress

You never gave up on me

Even when others did

Even when I gave up on myself

Loving me through it all

I’d run from You

Ashamed of all I have done

Angry at the world for what had been done to me

So sure I could do things my way

Each time I ran

You patiently waited

For me to come back home

Drawing me close when I came through the door

I yearn to live a life of significance

One that gives love to all around me

To make a life worth living

One that will be worth remembering

Beneath a sinner’s heart

The will and the courage to do the right thing grew

Thank you for wiping away my sins

For seeing in me what I simply couldn’t see

Upon their throne, the unholy sit

First, yes I am a Christian. My faith means a lot to me. It has gotten me through so much. He has given me so much to be grateful for, much more than I deserve. I will never hide my faith from the world. Nor will I try to thump one over the head with my bible and condemn them either.

And therein lies my whole point to this blog. I was again inspired by another’s blog today. It really got me thinking about the church today, the way so many so called Christians act. I myself have turned away from organized religion more than once because of being judged, being shunned for being less than they desired me to be. The last I checked, as Christians, we are called to love one another as Christ loves us. We are NOT called to sit in judgment, NOT called to look down upon one another. Also, Christ himself befriended thieves, liars, adulterers, etc because that is what He and all of us are called to do, show God’s love. How are we to show them the way if we hold our noses in the air passing judgement?

And since when is it supposed to be a contest at church as to who wears what, drives what, who’s kids do the best in school/sports/music, who has what job, etc? I remember a sermon given at a church I was a member of that spoke of where our hearts are when we’re at church. Are we there focused on God, there to praise Him, worship Him, fellowship with friends and family? Or are we more focused on everyone around us and comparing themselves to everyone else? The pastor said, “I’d rather you show up in jeans and tee-shirt with your heart set on God than all dressed up and focused on worldly things.” To a point, I understand wanting to please God and some feel it is only proper to dress up in church. But, it’s gone too far now. It’s become a glorified fashion contest in so many places of so called worship.

I liked the church I’d most recently been going to. There, even the pastor wears jeans and a nice shirt. The small congregation dresses as they feel comfortable, most wearing jeans themselves. It’s relaxed and the atmosphere there is way different than what I have experienced in so many other churches. I also like that while the pastor has a set sermon, he also allows the congregation to participate. The hearts have been on fire for God, more focused on outreaches, helping one another, being beacons for Christ. There are so many good and kind people that love God more than themselves. It’s just saddening to see so many profess to love Him and then come off as cold and harsh. This attitude turns people away from God, not bring them closer.

Judge not for none have that right. We all sit in houses made of glass. At any moment, the stones can come flying in. It’s so easy to look down upon another for a mistake they’ve made, for a choice they’re making. How easy it is to think, “Ugh, how can he do that?” or “Doesn’t she know what that outfit makes her look like?” Thoughts like that are where it begins. We don’t have to like another’s choices, but they’re not ours to judge. We all make bad decisions, mistakes. It’s a part of being human and I believe we’re all called to look past them and reach out to one another in love, not disgust.

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