Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I remember once as a child telling my grandmother, "Those kids don't like me, grandma.  They make fun of me."  Her response to that was "Remember that no one can insult you unless you give them your permission."  That was good advice and I lived to recall it at other times in my life.  Still, there were times when it was difficult to not take the hurt if I felt wronged even in some minor way.  It can be difficult to refrain from speaking out in some situations, and perhaps regretful words are said, and then it's just out there - you've said it, and often wish you hadn't.

Jesus gave us the answer to this sort of problem in saying "Turn the other cheek."  If someone insults you, forgive them - whatever they have done, forgive them.  In one of her wonderful hymns Fanny Crosby wrote of the desire to live "above the world."  It is a truth that above the world or outside of the world is where our lives will be when we press into a spiritual existence with God.  It is a wonderful experience to feel you are not to be deflected by the world's point of view, which leaves one with options for handling anger that don't prove helpful, and proof of that is the years of therapy people often endure.  God would never tell us to do something that He did not have a direct hand in.  The ability to love and forgive under even the most difficult circumstances is one of the many gifts of God's Holy Spirit.

And so, we believe - we show faith - which is what we have to have - and God changes our situation.  He takes away anger and hurt.  He replaces it with love, understanding, and forgiveness.  Yes, my grandmother gave me good advice, but still it took me years to learn what I needed to have, and that was a place with Jesus in my heart and God's Spirit to guide me through. 

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