Tuesday, August 16, 2011
The Christian Atheist Chapters 6 and 7
I usually post this on Wed., but I have a lot going on this week and I know it will get away from me, so I wanted to go ahead and post it so I won't be behind.
Chapter 6 is so far, and probably will still be at the end of the book, the hardest chapter for me. I am caring and will go out of my way to help someone. The word that most describes me is loyal. I am loyal 'til the end. Unless you mess with me, my kids, or my family. I give second chances. Sometimes I give third and fourth chances. When someone does something to me or my family that is hard to forgive I don't hold a grudge as much as I just don't really want to have anything more to do with that person. I can be in the same room with them, even say hello in passing, but once you have lost my trust I don't ever trust you again. That may sound harsh, but trust is a funny thing. I believe it is the root of any kind of relationship and without it you don't have much to grow and build on. I don't know how you have any kind of relationship without it.
I know that I am supposed to forgive and let God handle the revenge. I don't ever wish anything bad on anyone, I believe that just opens up whatever you are wishing on someone else to come right to you or your loved ones, nor do I look for revenge. BUT, depending on what someone has done to me or my family, I do have a hard time forgiving and forgetting. Like I said above, I don't really think it is as much of a grudge as I just don't care to be around people who only bring negativity to my life. There are times though, that I don't find it easy to forgive or forget. When someone has done something just to me, it is easier to let go of than if they have done something to my family. Does that make sense? I have an easier time forgiving for myself, but I guess I feel disloyal forgiving what has been done to someone I love. Especially my kids.
I always use my kids as examples, but when they fight with each other or do something to the other one, I know they need to be punished. The child that has had something done to them by the other can much easier find a punishment than me. Even knowing one of them is in the wrong, I have a hard time punishing them. Especially if I didn't see what happened and have 2 totally different stories. I guess we have an easier time feeling like we know what someone else deserves and maybe God judges our wrongdoings differently than we do.
I am going to try to explain what I mean. When the kids have problems with someone at school or a friend, I try to look at the whole situation. Maybe it is the psychology in me, but I feel like we perceive everything around us according to our experiences. One situation can be perceived completely differently by different people because of the way they look at it based on what they know or have been through. I don't know if I am making sense, but I think we think we know what someone's punishment should be, but only God knows that person's true heart and what they have been through. Our values and judgment can be off because of life experiences. So many times criminals are those who may be uneducated, came from broken homes, may have been abused, etc. That doesn't excuse them from becoming a serial killer, but we can't understand how that person sees the world based on life experiences we haven't had. I think that is why God wants us to leave it up to him. We judge each other through a whole different set of eyes than God judges us. I could still love one of my kids if they became a serial killer, but I wouldn't anybody else. In God's eyes we are all His children.
God doesn't want us to waste any space in our hearts with hate, but it sure is hard sometimes isn't it? I guess I just have to remember the verse the author used. Colossians 3:13 "forgive as the Lord forgave you." If I want the same grace and forgiveness from God I should give it to others as well.
Do you remember "The Sunscreen Song"? It was based on a column that appeared in the Chicago Tribune on June 1, 1997 entitled "Advice, Like Youth, Probably Just Wasted on the Young" by staff writer Mary Schmich. (bondon) I loved this song. My favorite part was the saying, "don't waste your time with jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long, and in the end, it is only with yourself."
That saying is so true. I don't think God wants us to just "let him handle it" as much as He doesn't want us to bring that hatred with us in the end.
The next chapter is about thinking you can't change. It seems unfair that a person can live their whole life doing bad things to others and then, maybe even in prison, find God at the end of their life and be forgiven by Him. BUT, they didn't get away with anything. They lived in their own personal Hell and didn't have the life of someone who lived the way God wanted them too. I don't think there is any way a bad person can have a good life. Even those people who are loaded with money, but got it from cheating others out of their's, aren't happy people. I really believe you make your own Hell here and live it. I saw a church sign the other day that said, "No God, No Peace; Know God, Know Peace". Those people aren't getting away with anything. I believe people can change and I believe God is just sitting there waiting for that change. I am glad that He is that forgiving and willing to accept each and everyone of us.
What do you think? Is forgiveness easy or hard for you? Do you think people can change? I would love to hear from any of you either on here (you can show your name or sign anonymously) or on my facebook page The Sisterhood of Spiritual Single Moms.