Finding Forgiveness

My mind has been preoccupied this week with preparations for our upcoming vacation, but I’m not so distracted that I have missed the headlines.

I’ve never been one to hide from troubles or look for an escape from conflict. Still, I’ll admit that I will be greatly relieved to jet off to another part of the world for a bit. For two weeks I will be immersed in the history of Israel and Jerusalem — visiting landmarks, museums and holy sites. I will hear about ancient battles, and learn about some still being fought today. During this time, I will try to forget all the anger and division I am leaving behind. And I will pray.

I will pray for peace when tempers flare.

I will pray for courage that I might share.

I will pray for comfort when friendships end.

I will pray for grace and forgiveness again.

In the midst of all this anger and division in our nation, we need to find forgiveness, even when it is the hardest thing to do. Jesus taught us that forgiveness is not a quantity. It dwells deep within the heart. It is like an abundant and overflowing well that never runs dry.

Perhaps we can each find someone who is thirsting for forgiveness this week.

Let’s Talk

Am I alone in my complete exasperation with social media? It has become a battleground full of anger, hatred, and vulgarity, and a convenient hiding place for bullies who spew nothing but hate. This certainly hasn’t happened overnight, and there is plenty of blame to be spread around when we see how far we had slithered into the gutter. But instead of pointing fingers and shaming the “other side”, perhaps it’s time to look in the mirror.

After taking a social media hiatus during Lent, I discovered I didn’t miss it as much as I expected I would. Still, it was tempting to jump back into the fray after Easter. Nothing had changed — except for me, and my willingness to join in the chatter.

Even though I have friends and family members who have decided to leave social media, I have decided to stay. Our world needs people who are not afraid to shine light in a darkening world, and share goodness in the face of evil. We need people who will speak words of kindness and compassion, and share images that uplift rather than degrade our fellow man.

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” ~ ‭James‬ ‭3:9-10‬

It’s really not that hard.

It begins with a simple decision to not share gossip or something you suspect is untrue. Keep conversations civil. Scroll past posts that tempt you to vent. There are so many wonderful pages and groups to follow — full of inspiring stories, photos, memes and even songs. Seek them out and begin sharing only things that will bless others!

Give it a try this week and discover how you can begin to change the conversation, one post or Tweet at a time. 😊