Practicing peace

I have a conflicted heart…

I think that’s because I live in two cities…

I have one foot in the selfish me,me,me world and one foot in the glorify God and nothing else matters world…

I know that everything I do should glorify God and my actions should speak of his great love so that I am a light for others but sometimes in order to protect my own light I have to be selfish and do what’s healthy for me which may not always be bad but it also doesn’t glorify God in the best way that I possibly can…

so therein lies the problem…

I am weak. I am human. I am a sinner. I live in a world of flesh. I have a negative voice inside my head that feeds off of the reactions of others.

Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves, not for the benefit of those we forgive. I have forgiven those who have sinned against me but selfishly I have forgiven them for me and not for them. It does me absolutely no good to carry the burden of hate and anger around because of the actions of someone else. It doesn’t punish them if I hold a grudge, it punishes me.

Now does this mean that I am free and open with these people? Absolutely not. Selfishly I forgive and selfishly I put up walls and boundaries. This doesn’t have to do with them or their actions and everything to do with me and my insecurities and what I am capable of handling.

I know myself and while I am working on being a stronger person I know that I can only take so much. I can only carry so much. I can only worry so much. I am weak.

I am working on casting all my fears onto God but that takes a lot of strength. Strength to let go of control. Strength to let it be. Strength to forgive whole heartedly and unselfishly.

Baby steps…

give yourself a little grace. Forgiving, even selfishly is a step in the right direction. A step toward healing. A step toward opening your heart, breaking down your walls and learning to forgive whole heartedly.

A body builder does not obtain their goal in one work out session. A city is not built in one day. Change takes time. Change takes patience. Change doesn’t happen in a big swoop but in time with tiny steps that add up to bigger ones.

We live in a society that is all or nothing. We are not allowed to make mistakes. We are not allowed to be wrong. We must be perfect. Everything is someone else’s fault.

“They made me do it”

We focus our energy so much on solving other people’s problems and figuring out what external forces can be changed without considering what internal forces are within our power.

ALL internal forces are within our power. We give away that power by blaming others. By giving them power to control us and our reactions. “Well what do you expect you were a jerk first” says absolutely nothing about the first jerk and everything about you as a person when you react to how they treat you.

Now this does not mean you have to lay down and take abuse but there is something very beautiful in walking away in silence and not letting it affect you. It leaves them pounding on a brick wall unable to cause damage to anything but themselves. It gives you your power back. It gives you the control by letting it all go and leaving it in God’s hands.

We must find the balance between our world and God’s world. I believe that’s where Jesus comes in. God recognized that we don’t live in his world. God recognized that we must protect ourselves and that we are sinners because of this. God showed us the way by sacrificing the only sinless son so that we may be forgiven and have full access to his world once we leave our world.

That doesn’t mean we have an all access pass to be willfully sinful. That means he understands we are not perfect and that we will fail from time to time and he still loves us and forgives us anyway.

So keep practicing peace. You’re doing great. Fall down. Get back up. Know your limits. Learn to find balance, to find peace, to love and forgive again. And know that you are loved and you are forgiven. You are worthy.

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