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Monday
May 29th

The Hardest Thing to Give is IN

Giving in is not giving up. Biblically speaking, giving in is giving over to God’s way toward resolution and reconciliation. As a jail chaplain I often taught a lesson I entitled: How is the Best Way to Defeat Your Enemies.

As you might imagine, occasionally an inmate would blurt out, “Kill him.”

Because I got that answer from time to time, I would respond with this question, “What are you in for?” More often than not they were in for a violent crime against an individual – even murder.

To move the lesson along in a positive direction, I would ask, “How would you like to learn how to defeat an enemy without incurring negative consequences – make a friend of them.”

            It has been said, humans live life on three levels that dictate three levels of action which are broadly defined below:

Satanic Level  Action: Evil for Good

Human Level  Action: Evil for Evil

Action: God for Good

Divine Level Action: Good for Evil

            How do we turn this around? Twelve words, sincerely spoken, can restore a damaged or broken relationship.

            I am wrong.

            This is the most difficult of these four three-word statements to utter; but remember this lesson: There is always a certain amount of right and a certain amount of wrong on both sides of every issue. Allow me to clear up some confusion that often accompanies applying this principle to this lesson.

            Last time we looked at two passages of Scripture that required action on our part. Matthew 5:23 admonished us to go to anyone who had ought against us.

            Matthew 18:15 said if someone had sinned against us we were to go to them and take the initiative to be reconciled. This illustration is a clear-cut case where they were wrong and we were right – mostly right that is.

            Even if the other person is 99% wrong and only 1% right - meaning you are 99% right and only 1% wrong, God requires we give up 100% of our 1% wrong. Again, the hardest thing to give is in. However, to be in favor with God, and His command to us, we must take that first step.

            Consider these two thoughts:

            If we do not know who God is, or if we have forgotten His teachings we will never consider doing what God wants us to do. Further more, what Christian would abuse another (even if just 1% wrong) when doing (following) the Word of God?

            I am sorry.

            Don’t say this until you have prayed the matter trough and are truly convinced, or convicted in your heart, you are sorry to God for disobedience to Him, and to the one with whom you seek reconciliation. Saying, I am sorry, is agreeing with God. It is the right thing to do.

            Truly having God’s Mind in the matter begins the healing process within ones self even before expressing our sorrows to the individual. We feel better when we please God.

            Please forgive me.

            We have learned previously we can forgive without forgetting. In asking forgiveness we grant forgiveness. Forgiveness is a three-lane, two-way street allowing uninhibited travel for God, our self and those from whom we ask forgiveness.

            I love you.

            God is our primary example that we can love someone appropriately without liking what they have done are may continue to do. Isn’t this a picture of God’s Grace extended to us as Believers?

 Jesus explained how God regarded love in Matthew 22:36-40:

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

On these two commandments hang all the law and all the prophets.”

 I often say, “It is funny how two people see the same thing differently – funny peculiar not funny haha.

Next time:  Communication Breakdown: A Negative Approach to a Positive Response

Tom C Lacy croppedRev. Thomas (Tom) C. Lacy, Advisory Board Member of the Virginia Christian Alliance and Founder and Director, of New Hope Counseling Service.

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Proverbs 24, verses 11 and 12 Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Surely we did not know this,” Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?

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