Last Sunday was a good one for me. For some reason, I felt close to the Lord and humble enough to allow His teachings to sink into my soul.
Some situations have risen at work lately that have really caused me to stop and think about the things I laugh at and the things I say about other people. The importance of being kind and refraining from gossip is another lesson I am continually relearning. I know I should never say, or even think, an unkind thing about another person. We are all God's children, and although I'm certain we often make Him sad, I guarantee you He doesn't go complain to other people about how we are hurting Him. I also know it is easy to say we should always be kind, and much more difficult to actually embrace the practice.
These thoughts were milling around in my head on Sunday as I studied the word of God and attended my Church services. Every now and again, it seems God themes my Sundays; every article, every scripture, every lesson, every talk, and every conversation all circle around one topic. This past Sunday the topic for me was forgiveness.
Perhaps this is not news to you, but it was new for me to have thoughts of gossip and thoughts of forgiveness cross paths in my head. As I went throughout the day, the relationship between the two became clear to me. If I am so hurt by what you have done to wrong me, whether real or imagined, that I say negative things about you or the situation to another person, I am not practicing forgiveness. If I hear an unkind rumor about another person and pass it along, I am not practicing forgiveness. If I think an unkind thought about another person, I am not practicing forgiveness. Shame on me! Who am I to judge? A myriad of people flowed through my mind on Sunday--people I suddenly realized I was harboring ill feelings toward for one reason or another. This realization gave me courage to act. I sat down and wrote letters and knelt to beg the Lord's forgiveness and purged my heart of those ill feelings. As I did so, I was overcome with emotion and peace. What a gift to have an unburdened heart!
I've never thought of myself as one to hold grudges or withhold forgiveness. Yet I find I too have cause to repent. May I always remember this relationship and strive to forgive before I open my mouth!