…"But the Word of God is not chained or imprisoned!" 2Tim. 2:9
Life is full of emotions and feelings. We are surrounded and raised, from the time we enter this world, on feelings and emotions. They mold us and form us into what and who we become. This is a given. There is no way around this fact. We do not choose the parents we have or the house we are going to be raised in.
Some have been raised, and their lives have been molded, by homes that have been built on guilt and shame, stress and anxiety. These are lives that will grow up with anger and depression problems. Every day will be a struggle for them. They will know no other way, but to push and shove their way through life trying to find that emotional balance that will lead to happiness and a good self image. The environment that we live in will dictate what kind of foundation or platform our personalities and characters will be poured into. This will set the stage of what kind of struggles we will face that will make us who we become.
I was raised in a home that the word “love” was never spoken, except when we were all going to bed. We would recite back to my parents, “goodnight, I love you”. It become so much a part of us and our routine, that we would just say it without much thought or meaning behind the words. That pretty much described the environment I grew up in. Words had no meaning and never were taken at face value. There were always under lying motivations behind what people said. Their true feelings and emotions could never be put on display. Although I have made almost a complete turn around from this training, I still struggle with this to the present day, and probably always will.
When I looked at my mom and dad, I saw all the struggles and the life and environment that they had to grow up in. They were just doing the best that they could with what they had been given. They loved me and did the best that they knew how. They could never breakout of the pattern that was set in motion during the formative years of their lives.
Because of my foundation and environment, my personality and character were poured into a mold that didn’t fit me. It wasn’t until I grew up and went out to form a life of my own, that I really grew up. I realized who I really was. My strengths and my weaknesses and everything that made me….me. With a new pattern to follow, I have peace. I’m not saying there are no more struggles, because there are, but with a new me, I now have a new arsenal of weapons against the enemies of the past and the circumstances of the future.
I met Jesus Christ along the road called life, and He used people and circumstances to show me who I really was. Through His word, He put me into the mold that fit me like a glove. The one that He had always intended for me all along.
My wife came from a horrid back ground. Both physical and emotional abuse from a father who had an even worse back ground then hers. Those emotional scares are passed down from generation to generation. It’s a never ending cycle.
There is a statement that my wife often talks about that is as vivid in her memory banks as if it just happened yesterday. Her father told her, that it looked like she was smuggling two watermelons in her hips. That statement was ingrained into her and she struggles with her physical appearance to this day. Now my wife is a very beautiful women. I mean no disrespect to any of the thin women out there, but God gave women to have those curves and those hips that give them the shape that drives men crazy. Marilyn Monroe was a shapely size twelve. But those words spoken to her over thirty years ago, still follow her around like an emotional assassin, trying to kill anything good that comes into her life.
Do you remember a statement or a name that people used to call you when you were young? Does it still sting you today? How words can build us up and also can be so damaging. High schools can be some of the most dangerous places, not just physical, but emotional as well.
My father always told me I was never going to amount to anything. I was stupid and was only going to be a garbage man for the rest of my life. I know that he said those words out of frustration and anger, but they still hurt. Be careful of your words.
Some Forms of Emotional Abuse
Some people use the environment they grew up in as an excuse to have their way with people. They have no desire to be anything but how they were raised. If you were raised on a good platform, that’s a good thing. Be who you are and accentuate your strengths. Help those who may be going down the same path that you have traveled. But when you think about it…we all have a little baggage that we carry around. We could all use a little tweaking.
In conclusion, take a long hard look in the mirror. What do you really see? Be honest, because your dishonesty can hurt so many people. You see when I walk around with a defective me, it effects all my family, friends, co-workers, spouse, and all those people who love and want to be close to me. My inability, or just down right hardness of heart, will lead to grief, causes of depression, emotional stress, and anger problems, and someone that you really cares about me…and someone that loves me and really desires to get close to me, won’t be able too. Why?…because I have made them my emotional punching bag. I need to let all this pain out somewhere and on somebody and it is always the one who sees who I really am and loves me anyway. This is always the person who we beat up day after day after day. We are driving away the one, and maybe only person, who really loves us for who we are, and despite the hits they stay. Because they really care.
When the storms of life toss you to and fro, and all the smoke clears… look to see who is at your right… and who is at your left. Those are your real friends. Those are the people who really love you.
Never are we acting more like God, then when we forgive someone. Forgiveness is the closet action to God that we will ever undertake.
In today’s society, forgiving someone is almost looked down upon. Vengeance and getting even is what is portrayed as the true test of ones strength. Forgiveness is an act of a cowering weak wimpy person. Is it? Lets look a little bit closer at the importance of forgiveness.
What’s the definition of forgiveness? Forgiveness is a promise. Forgiveness is a pledge. Forgiveness is a statement of undeserved and unearned love that says, no matter what you’ve done, there is no anger, no hatred, no desire for vengeance, and there will never be no retaliation. I do not hold you guilty, and I do not blame you. I hold no self pity for myself because I have been offended. I pass by this transgression completely, and extend my love to you fully. That is biblical forgiveness.
We see this character trait of God in Exodus chapter 34 and verse 6.God is talking to Moses here.
“And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, the LORD, a God full of compassion and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy and truth.”
I know a women who years ago was just a working class girl. Single. Enjoyed the party life. One day after her bowling night with her friends, she was leaving to go home. She had a few beers to drink. Nothing out of the ordinary. She wasn’t stoned drunk, but while she was pulling out she didn’t see the man on the motorcycle. What she thought was a slight bump to the motorcycle, turned out to be much more. She went to see if he was alright, but she could see by the twisted body, that he was not alright. He was dead!
The police came. She was arrested, and tried for manslaughter. Punishable by a long term in prison. But to her amazement, while the trial was coming to a close, the dead mans family chose not to prosecute the girl. In an emotional plea, they decided to forgive her and let her go.
Today that girl and the dead man’s family are good friends. They are all Christians and go to the same church, The girl goes around to schools and preaches to kids the dangers of drinking.
The press went wild with the story of the great act of forgiveness that this family showed this girl. There were stories in all the major newspapers, and they were even on the “Good Morning America” show.
The extension of forgiveness changed, not only the girl’s life forever, but the families involved, and who knows how many countless individuals who came to hear or read about this incredible act of forgiveness.
Jesus Christ taught many parables or stories while He was alive, and one of the most familiar stories was a story of a fathers great love for his son, and forgiveness of a wrong that was totally undeserved.
It is found in the Gospel according to Luke, chapter fifteen. The son said to his father that he wanted his part of the inheritance. He didn’t want to stay with the family. He was tired of living under his roof and under his rules. He was going to go out and do what he wanted to do. ( Kinda sounds almost like the kids of today.) You have to understand, that this was a huge insult to the father, and normally the son would be considered dead to the family and no longer accepted into the house ever again.
Now while this lad is out and spends all his money and times start to get bad. He has no where to go and no food to eat. he finds a part time job tending to a farmers pigs.( How is that. A Jewish kid tending to pigs?) He is so hungry, that he starts eating the slop that the pigs eat.
He decides to go back to his father, and admit that he was wrong and ask his forgiveness. He won’t ask for anything but to be treated like one of his fathers servants. He knows that it would be wrong to ask to be let back into the family circle.
Well while he is walking down the road that leads to his fathers house, rehearsing what he is going to say, his father sees him from the living room window, and runs out the door to meet his son. In Luke’s account of this story on the power of forgiveness, it says that not only did the father run out to meet his son, but his heart did also. Luke 15:20; “his heart went out to him.”
They meet each other and before the son could get a word out of his mouth, the father grabs him and hugs him so tight. The father is elated that his son is back. No guilt! No big speech of how he let him down! No anger! No hatred. The father just pours out his love on his son. The father puts the finest robe on him and a ring on his finger, and they have a huge feast and celebration. The father says, ” my son was dead, and now he is alive again.” ( Luke 15:24) Maybe our government should learn this, and instead of forgiving huge corporations for squandering the stockholders money, they should forgive honest hard working people their financial woes, and start listening with your heart.
This is a story of God’s great love for you and me. The salvation He provides. We have all turned to our own way. ( Isaiah 53:6 ) We, like the son, have said, I don’t need you God. I want to live my life my way. I don’t like your rules. But like the father in the story, God is waiting and looking to see if you are tired of going your own way. He is looking out the window, down the road to see if you decided that you had enough of getting beat up from the world. Come on home. He is waiting to forgive you. He has already done it. While He was hanging on the cross, He said, ” Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” ( Luke 23:34)
You are never more like God, then when you forgive. He has certainly left us with the greatest example of forgiveness. His son, Jesus Christ