"Advent is the perfect time to clear and prepare the Way. Advent is a winter training camp for those who desire peace. By reflection and prayer, by reading and meditation, we can make our hearts a place where a blessing of peace would desire to abide and where the birth of the Prince of Peace might take place.
"Daily we can make an Advent examination. Are there any feelings of discrimination toward race, sex, or religion? Is there a lingering resentment, an unforgiven injury living in our hearts? Do we look down upon others of lesser social standing or educational achievement? Are we generous with the gifts that have been given to us, seeing ourselves as their stewards and not their owners? Are we reverent of others, their ideas and needs, and of creation? These and other questions become Advent lights by which we may search the deep, dark corners of our hearts.
~ An Advent Examination, Edward Hays, A Pilgrim's Almanac, p. 196
"To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven
the inexcusable in you." ~ C.S. Lewis
Challenge: Forgive others and forgive yourself ...
Forgiveness is an ongoing process, day by day. By praying often, you will find strength to forgive the person who hurt you. We are all human, we all make mistakes. When angry feelings about the person who's harmed you enter your mind, remember: We are all children of God, we are all good and loving children who are finding their way. Pray for this person to find peace and love in their hearts so that they can make their way back to the loving child of God they are meant to be.
Forgive them Father for they know not what they do!
Never does the Bible talk about the idea of “forgiving yourself.” Yet we must forgive ourselves to move forward. We are told to forgive others when they trespass against us and seek forgiveness. We don't like to think of our sins, yet we are all sinners. When we ask for God’s forgiveness, He forgives us. It is as simple as that. However, we seem to hold onto that sin and sometimes choose to wallow in it and act as though we are not freed from it. We have a chose to make, we can accept the fact that we are forgiven in Christ, or we can believe the devil’s lie that we are still guilty and should therefore feel guilty. The Bible says that when God forgives us, He “remembers our sins no more". So again here is the chose, we can choose to dwell upon our past sins with the resulting guilty feelings, or we can choose to fill our minds with thoughts of the awesome God who forgave us and thank and praise Him for it. Remembering our sins is only beneficial when it reminds us of the extent of God’s forgiveness and makes it easier for us to forgive others.
"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins" (Mark 11:25). "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven" (Luke 6:37).
May we make our hearts a place where a blessing of peace would desire to abide and where the birth of the Prince of Peace might take place!
Prayerful Path/Mary Maddox