Right under the verse that is “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; (Matthew 5:37 NIV84)” is this sweet reminder that some things God asks us to do seemingly make no sense and are too hard to bear.
“Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously. (Matthew 5:38-42 MSG)
We are not the only ones who lost our home in the economic nightmare of the last decade but being angry at the banks for lying and taking advantage of us does me no good. It clutters my soul with bitterness. Living in hurt because people I loved lied to me in the past doesn’t help me live in peace now. Nursing a regret of dealing with people whose pride cut my life to shreds doesn’t help me heal but keeps me living wounded.
Living wounded is not God’s heart for my life or my soul.
Forgiveness is vital to the soul and “unforgiveness is like feeding poison to yourself and hoping the other person will die” (as my mom in law reminded me last week).
Forgiveness sets you free but there is even more God has for you. What is more than life after forgiveness? A life of generosity. Someone takes advantage of you- give them what you have and move on with your life. Let it go. Forgive them. Ask God to bless them. Someday you may even be able to bless them yourself. In this way, you will be living in the abundance of God’s love instead of the famine of past hurts.
God doesn’t deny that bad things happen or that people might take advantage of you but He also doesn’t abandon you to it. He empowers you to forgive, reminds you to let go and pours out His Spirit in you so that someday you can even become a blessing to them.
Crazy right?!? No, you can’t do it on your own. Yes, it is possible but only by God’s grace, mercy and power.
Soul work is not easy and is only possible with God.
What soul work do you do deal with?
What soul clutter does God need to clean out?