Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Skeleton Key

(photo courtesy of psdgraphics.com)
There’s always someone to blame; the lover that tore your heart from your soul, the fool who assaulted you, the teacher who said you’d never amount to anything, the kids who called you fat, the director who would never cast you in a leading role, the co-workers who mock your singing, the parent who was too overbearing or the one who didn’t care at all.

And of course, the there are always folks to point back to at pivotal points in our lives, the ones who made a positive difference; the teacher that pointed you out as a leader, the ones who saw potential in you, the parent who gave all they had to help you succeed, the friends who stuck with you through thick and thin, the lover that still loves you – faults and all, the friends who chime in with your singing - harmonizing to cover for you when you fall off key.

There are many people who have come and gone in our lives, they’ve all shaped us in one way or another. Some have shown us the evil side of everything living, others who have lifted us up when we were lying at rock bottom, those who walk beside us, and those who step on us when we’re down.

We love to revel in the joy our friends draw out of us, and we often blame our failures on those who came across our path with nothing good in their hearts.

We can harbor hatred and become more bitter with each passing day, focusing on everything negative. Or we can let go of our anger and let the enemy of our soul choke on it, focusing on all we have to be thankful for. We can approach every rock in our path as a stumbling block or a stepping stone. Certainly some are harder to get around than others, I’ve climbed a few boulders, myself. No one says this is easy.

But on behalf of those whose heart-breaking actions were unintentional and those blind to the pain they were causing at the time, I offer this olive branch, a skeleton key that opens very old doors:

“In the past I may not have loved you like I should have
I may not have loved you like you needed to be loved
I may not have poured into your life the things you wanted from me
            But, please, forgive me and let me love you now”

From those whose intent was plain evil, I have no words, but forgiveness is the same key to unlock your freedom from the hold they still have over you.

We can seek healing – or excuses, but not both. We can forgive and move forward, or point blame and wallow in our anguish. No one from our past can make that choice for us.

Enter the holidays (and the rest of your life) with joy and thanksgiving by letting go of a past that can’t be changed and embracing the future where we write the words on each page.

“…Go in peace. Your journey has the LORD’S approval.” –Judges 18:6 (NIV)

“No discipline [today’s example, the discipline of forgiveness] seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” – Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)
(Words in bracket are mine.)

“For, whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. For theeyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” – 1 Peter 3:10-12 (NIV)

“Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.” – Jude 1:2 (NIV)


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