My last blog was about taking action on beliefs. One of my beliefs, or at least have taught to Mary, is to live in peace with others even if it takes forgiveness for what seems to be unforgiveable.
At the end of last year, many moments of ‘issues” at school exploded and Mary was left wounded and Jim and I were MAD! How dare other people believe they had the right to hurt our daughter. Later in the summer came the first apology and after discussion we talked about the importance of forgiving. However, forgiveness does not mean that you have to hang out with them after you accept the apology. Shortly after this school year came the second apology from the other one who hurt her. We were surprised to get the first apology, let alone the second one. Again, forgiveness and living a peace does NOT mean you open your life to get hurt again. She attended a dance at the school, and was able to share the same space in harmony. This past week we went to the talent show and she wanted to sit with the two people. It was the first time I had seen them and I, the adult, was uncomfortable. After the event, on the way home, she tells me she really believes they were genuine and would like to be friends and maybe hang out together. I, the adult, was uncomfortable even hearing that. Part of my hesitance is I don’t want drama and the other part I don’t want her hurt again. But, in the big picture, she is right by moving forward.
So, there are a few people in my pathways that I do not really care for. I find it hard to live in peace with some people. I can see a correspondence from them and I instantly put up my defense. There are situations that have been posed to me and I thought we were living in peace, only to determine that was not the case. They feel they are right and well I KNOW that I am. I am waiting for an apology and I can plan on waiting for ever. I cave in to be the bigger/better person. But what is my motive? To say I was the bigger/better person… to complain about the fact they were not… to claim that I was right… this verse and a few others keep popping up about living in peace.
- Hebrews 12:14-15 “14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many”
I sometimes want to scream, “Lord, you have no idea what I am dealing with here.” (although since He can read my mind, He also knows all the other thoughts I have about “these people”. “These people” can just be mean and miserable. And then have to humbly admit, Jesus loved the worst of the worst… He even died for them. The people I “tolerate” are nothing in comparison to being betrayed not once, but three times, by one of His own Disciples, His friend! Yes, I may feel betrayed, but I have never had the relationship that Jesus had with Judas. And guess what, Jesus still loved him and lived at peace with him and thousands others.
I teach Mary to forgive and live at peace, and she does. Then I, the grown adult, acts like a teenage girl and holds grudges. If that isn’t enough, God keeps putting the above verse in my face…
- Make every effort – means ignore the mean comments, correct errors instead of pointing them out for just the sake of being right
- Live in Peace – meaning accepting their apology, not picking a fight even if it is an internal one with that little voice that keeps pointing out what the other person die
- With EVERYONE – meaning everyone!
- Bitter root grows up – meaning the bitterness I have sowed regarding people has to be let go, or it wil take ROOT in my heart making me BITTER and will continue to grow and grow.
Sometimes I have to just do it, not because it is easy or because I want to or because they deserve it, but because I am instructed to. In fact, one of the rules I always said to my nephew Derrick and to Mary is “You don’t have to like it, you just have to live with it!”. I need to become INTENTIONAL in my efforts, seeking peace in the middle of the war, and with everyone (not just my friends and family, but some of my least favorites). I need to use the weed eater on the bitter root and some Miracle Gro on my efforts for peace. I definitely have some major gardening to do!