Tag Archives: freedom

What is Forgiveness?

I hadn’t planned to write on forgiveness, but it pushed to the front. I’ve heard again and again that unless you forgive, you can’t be happy or successful at life.

So what is forgiveness? Saying what they did is alright? That is silly, if you hate what they did. And if feels wrong if you were crippled by it.

I hear and read many places: “You must forgive yourself.” I believe it. I say it myself. But what is it?

I believe there are some things that precede forgiveness: acceptance of brokenness, acceptance of love, believing in hope and that I am lovable.

In order to forgive, you have to believe that you can do great wrong, that you can hurt people–that you are capable of evil. You also have to believe that you are of great value, that you are loved and capable of loving others. The first is difficult if you grew up thinking you were the center of the universe, and never had it corrected. That last one is difficult for many of us, especially if we didn’t feel it. We are feeling people who can think. And we have to be able to do both mindfully. We try to be thinking people who can feel, but we are mainly run by emotion. (When you’re tired or threatened, emotion takes over. Even when you want to do something different, feelings will often sabotage and take you back to what is comfortable.)

Forgiveness matters because we crave loving and being loved. If we accept the above as reasonable, then we have to acknowledge that there is a God of love, or none of this would make any sense. Without God there would be no reason to love or forgive, except survival–and that, too, is God; without Him emotion would destroy us; so we come to the most basic belief underneath forgiveness.  We were made pure, good, loved and capable of loving; and became broken–capable of evil, attracted to evil,  often ignorantly. Emotions have become so twisted here that what feels good many times is destructive.

Are you following? Most of the important things in life are backwards, or feel backwards because we were made to run on love, but we don’t here.

So then what is forgiveness? I have thought about this for 10 years, and studied it longer. What actually is forgiveness? First you have to admit evil and wrong: Oswald Chambers says, “The recognition of sin does not destroy the basis of friendship; it establishes mutual regard for the fact that the basis of life is tragic.”

It is now, but it wasn’t always so. In our beginning we were all good, made for love and joy. That means we have to accept sin. What in the world is that? I see it as brokenness, but it is more accurately that which broke us–high-handed mutiny against God and love–that which separated us from God and gave us two conflicting natures. It was high-handed because there was no reason for it. It came because they could. They were free to rebel. It happened before us.

So then forgiveness makes possible the reconciliation that fixes the separation–the tragedy. But it is not reconciliation. You can forgive without reconciling. And that comes from the God-part of us. It can’t be otherwise. Reconciliation is the idea that people are worth living with, worth loving, capable of choice and change. But forgiveness comes before.

Forgiving is primarily for us–it frees us from carrying hurt and anger. It is the attitude that makes it possible for us to keep giving even when we have been hurt or when we have done the damage. We give ourselves another chance to get it. We believe we aren’t hopeless.

At the most basic level forgiveness is belief that love is real and freedom exists–that I can make choices and change, and so can you, that love is a power in the universe and we call it God. There is a being, a Trinity of beings, who is pure love who wants to live with us and bring us back to wholeness, but who will let us choose in freedom.

Love is not just an emotion. It is power. Pure stable energy that is so strong unstable energy can’t exist in it’s presence. The first five books of the Bible, and maybe all of them, are about God trying different ways of dealing with the problem of being with us because His presence would consume us.

Forgiving is the easiest thing God does. Reconciliation is a process requiring a want-to on both sides. But forgiveness most simply stated is for giving love to ourselves and others just because we can. Forgiveness may be separating in love (as God had to) or it may be coming together in love, but it is fueled by love and supported by choice. I can let go or take you back believing in the change love can make. I can come back to Love.

 

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When God doesn’t make Sense

Once again, why is it bad things happen to good people?

Because suffering shows what we are really like–what we are made of–our characters. And character is simply the accumulation of many choices. How will I look at this situation? What perception will I choose?

And as previously mentioned, I believe, based on several instances in scripture, that Satan asks to test each of us. He knows where we are weak, our Achilles’ heal, our tragic flaw; and that is what he excoriates. He attacks us because we want to be with God, because we are His followers, and want to become authentic lovers. He wants to expose us as posers, phonies, pretenders. So I have imagined several of these counsels in heaven where he gets permission to test based on some “truth” he is presenting about us that makes us unfit to be used, unsafe to have around for eternity.

It’s been interesting and engaging, but if I thought Leviticus was difficult, it was easy compared to Numbers.

I understand there are rules of engagement in every war–the agreements to boundaries that are supposed to be adhered to, i.e. no attacks on civilians. What makes it difficult is that God takes responsibility for everything They allow, as well as what They decide and execute. So some of what looks like it’s coming from God isn’t Their ideas or actions; it’s just allowed. Sometimes it’s pretty clear. Other times, not. For instance, why 40 years in the wilderness?

I admit. I’m stumped. Ordinarily, I would say this is Satan’s engineering. And it could be, but it seems to be a theme that becomes the day for a year theory in prophecy after that. Would God go by something Satan demanded once? It seems unlikely. But as of yet, it doesn’t seem to make sense to me; and if you know me, God has to make sense: that is one of my tenants: Everything God does makes sense if you know Them and understand the big picture. That represents the revealed things, the actions in our world, the things we can understand–not the mystery that is beyond us. I’m good with that, but not good with being too lazy to try to understand.

But based on the first 5 episodes, even God’s strange acts make sense, if you think cosmically. That may not be a word yet, but I’m referring to thinking from a cosmic perspective. Knowing Him (Them) and knowing the people, I can’t figure out even from the big-picture, universal-war perspective,  why He would give them, in this situation, a year for a day. It doesn’t make any sense yet. So back to more time with God. I’ve been to this place several times, and He has always shown me something I’ve overlooked or didn’t understand. I’m sure Ruach will do it again!

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Filed under A God perspective, a perspective on evil, Love ed, Loved, Respect and disrespect, suffering, Uncategorized, What is God like?, When religion gets it wrong...

Freedom is Based on Ability to Learn

If you’ve been following this blog very long, you’ve read many times that  perspective is everything. It’s true. And here is another example. This past week there was another kafuffle with my grandsons–this one even worse than the last one. And of course, it was the middle child again.

He’s not your classic middle child that blends into the woodwork and gets lost. No, no, he’s got way to much personality and energy for that, even at seven, in the first grade. Last time he had a knife in his backpack, and lied about it. This time he was bullying a kid and lied about it. My daughter lay awake two nights worrying and praying before I even learned about it.

When I heard, my immediate thought was a memory–watching through the window as  he ran over to the side of the street and sat down and cried while all the kids at the bus stop were taunting him for throwing something on the ground. He was in kindergarten then. It broke my heart. That afternoon I asked him how it had felt and he blew it off.

But now a year later, his big brother (his seatmate) had asked to have his seat changed on the bus, and the rejection and hurt was showing by picking on someone smaller.

When it came out, he admitted that he had hit him, but lied about forcing him to bring him toys. As my daughter said, “It doesn’t even sound like him.” She was sick, of course, but grateful the parent had come to her instead of going to the school.

When she told me, it was pretty much over, except for consequences, and all I could say was “Thank God he is getting all these huge life lessons in the early years instead of having hundreds of days and weeks and months to internalize negative patterns, feelings and thoughts! It’s a hard lesson but you handled it so well it’s better than if it hadn’t happened!”

Freedom isn’t the ability to do what you want, no law, lawlessness. Freedom is the ability to gain wisdom through learning. It’s growing out of the childish perspective to pass on your hurt to someone weaker–because you can. It’s the chance to grow into seeing things from God’s perspective. He absorbed the hurt, took it into himself and transformed it into healing.

All great leaders have done the same thing beginning with Job and Moses. there was Gandhi in India, Mother Theresa in Calcutta?, and Martin Luther King Jr. in America. And now the AME church is doing the same thing–God bless them! We must learn or be swallowed up by evil; it comes too naturally to us. What starts out as evil can be transformed into healing experience for those who are willing to learn–even through suffering.

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Abused by the Dark Side

Yet another story of atrocious kidnapping has hit the news from Cleveland. More children taken, kept and abused–these for ten years!

I was so glad that two of the anchors interviewed former victims who are recovering to show that there can be good life after that. I have a small private practice, and even so have heard four such stories, not as long term, but the worst of them from foster care! Two of mine have a good life now, two of them continue to struggle.

Recovery is hard and can take years. I am amazed at the those who can go on national television and talk about it. Kudos! I am so proud of you!

I don’t understand how people can live in this world without God. It can get so ugly. The wars and threat to life that many people live with every day are horrible, many of them losing loved ones. But it has to be worse to be held and abused for years, not knowing if you’ll ever escape.

It makes me wonder how many are held in houses all over this country that we haven’t found. And that doesn’t touch the sex trafficking in other countries that has gotten crazy in recent years.

For those of you who think God could stop this, let me remind you of things said here before, we have freedom–even freedom to carry out the schemes of the dark side. Even the freedom to take away other people’s freedom–except in their minds. I believe God protects that for us if we want it. We are free to give away our freedom, of course.

But make no mistake,God does have a boundary in mind. When freedom is gone from this planet, He will end this in righteous anger, rescuing those who agree with Him about goodness.

And here’s the take away: We have all been abused by the dark side. Maybe not this horrifically, in fact it might be life was made too easy, too good, by misguided parents, but it is abuse none-the-less. But as long as you’re alive, as Jaycee Dugard said to Diane Sawyer,  you still have hope.

As long as you can think and choose you have freedom inside.

To learn more about how God thinks:

http://Godhelps.net

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Filed under Mental Health, suffering, Uncategorized, What is God like?