Hello my dear friends:
For many months now I have been wanting to watch the Tyler Perry movie, "Why Did I Get Married?". I know there was a good reason for my wanting to see that movie. As it just so happens, one of the sessions I attended at the women's conference was "Why Did I Get Married?", and on the Sunday following that conference, my pastor touched on the very same subject matter. See, both the minister who taught the session and my pastor thought that everyone had seen the movie. I thought to myself, oh oh, que lastima. My translation, "what a pity"! I may be the only black woman that did not see that movie.
Today's blog, after watching the movie, takes me back to when I was married. I remember that one of the activities we did when we were trying to make the marriage work was to make a list. Good idea you think? We divided our writing sheet in two, Side A - Things I Do Not Like About You; Side B - Things I Do Like About You. For me, there were about three things on the side of the dislike; on the like side, I had several. Good, right???? Surprise----this exercise immediately turned into a painful experience when my ex-husband was going through his Side A, his dislikes about me. I thought, "wow, I never knew he still held so much of my past against me and I didn't even know he had ill feelings about certain things I did and say." At that juncture in the marriage, I was not thinking anything scriptural, spiritual or biblical, I just wanted my husband to stay with me; I was just trying to do whatever was necessary to save the family. Okay,you get the picture. My entire focus was on my husband, I had quickly forgotten that God was the true ruler of my home; I had quickly forgotten that I needed to take my problems to the Lord in prayer. I had quickly forgotten how much the Lord had blessed me; I had totally forgotten about the goodness of God. See, if I had had the good sense, I would have studied 1 Corinthians 13:5, which says "Love does not count up wrongs that have been done." Thank you Lord, thank you. When we are in panic mode, we discount God, we try to deal with things on our own, but I can tell you from experience, doing things on our own does NOT work.
Minister and Christian author, Max Lucado, in his Life Lessons series wrote that God is the one that wants our lists. God wants us to leave the list at the cross. Minister Lucado stressed that we are commanded, not urged, commanded to keep no list of wrongs. Friends, you and I know, and as Minister Lucado admitted, it is not easy to bite our tongues; it is hard to not keep lists; it is easy to snarl lips and growl at people we don't like, but God wants our lists.
Paul in Colossians 3:13 wrote, "If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you." Again, easy to read and easy to say, but so hard to do, right? At the end of the lesson, Don't Keep a List of Wrongs, Minister Lucado posed the question, Who do you need to forgive before bitterness consumes you? Friends, if we want to be honest with ourselves, we don't even have to ponder the question for too long; we know of that someone who comes to each of our minds right away. However, my friends, I have good news that will help us in our journey to get rid of our lists. That is, we need to remember that we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil. 4:13)!! That's it. That is how we can start to get rid of our lists and start forgiving and loving each other!!! We need to affirm over our lives that we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us.
Minister Lucado is absolutely right when he asked if we really want to keep a list. Do we really want to catalog all our mistreatments? Do we really want to growl and snap our way through life? My friends, let us no longer wait, let us forgive ourselves and let us forgive that person whom has done us wrong. Most importantly, let us get rid of that list of wrongs we have been holding on to for so long. Take it to the Lord and leave it at the cross. Release it, in Jesus' name. We must remember that our Lord Jesus was crucified, he was beaten and nailed to the cross. Jesus did it all because He loves us and we are to take our every pain, anger, anxiety, bitterness, sickness, wickedness, darkness to Him in prayer. Take it and leave it at the cross because Jesus has already paid the price on our behalf. Be thankful and grateful, my friends. Thank you Lord. Please let me release my lists and leave them at the cross. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Have a spirit-filled day!
Therese from Belize