Want to start 2018 free and clear of emotional, mental, and perhaps even spiritual baggage? Then do this exercise. It will surprise you in several ways and will set you on a clean and happy path for the upcoming year.
Thanks Margo for sharing this with me so many years ago!
STEP 1: Make a list of every grief, major or minor, that others caused you this past year. List names and incidents. The more details, the more liberated you’ll get.
STEP 2: Add to the list any past hurts people have caused you that are still bugging you.
STEP 3: Go through the list and categorize the grievances. I’ve listed some of the categories I’ve addressed over the years, as examples to get you started:
-egotistical people not caring about other people’s feelings
-good people letting evil people bully them
-people getting angry when confronted with the truth and trying to hide from it or ignore it
-people who use their power or position to manipulate others
-broken promises and deliberate deceptions – outright lying
-people who know they need help but don’t seek it
-people who pervert the truth and lead others that way
STEP 4: For each of the categories ask yourself, “Have I ever acted this way toward God?”
When I did this exercise for the first time, this fourth step was a great awakening. And every year since has been a huge refreshing. I realize I am just as much of a sinner as anyone who has offended me. I acknowledge what God has forgiven me for and then I know I have no right to withhold forgiveness from anyone else.
So, I let them go. I am for-giving, in favor of giving those I need to forgive over to God because I can’t deal with them as well as He can. I make an effort to forgive because it’s the right thing to do, not necessarily because I want to. After we confess forgiveness, God works in our hearts to get around to really meaning it!
If I feel any lingering hurt or anger, I need to give it to God. I remind Him I need some help: “God, I’m not doing so well with this, so You’re going to have to do something from here.” And, of course, He does.
The servant in Matthew 18:21-35 was forgiven, but then he turned around and wouldn’t forgive. The Bible tells us this unforgiveness tormented him, and that’s how it is with us. When we don’t forgive, the disturbing thoughts are going to be still attached to us and be like arthritis or cancer, that just wants to grow, spread and take over. Doing this one small exercise is the floodgate to awesome freedom as we begin 2018.
Charge ahead! Like the Bible says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil 4:13). We are what God says we are and we are not weaklings or doormats. Romans 8:37 tells the truth: “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
WINGS: Journey /With Jesus: A compilation of short true narratives to entertain, inspire and enhance your spiritual growth. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out. https://www.amazon.com/WINGS-JOURNEY-JESUS-Carolyn-Molica-ebook/dp/B01HLPCQPS/ref=as_sl_pc_as_ss_li_til?tag=jmbcsds-20&linkCode=w00&linkId=17df1629f3a0495e0e4e159e6c208129&creativeASIN=B01HLPCQPS