Saying “I’m Sorry”

Those three little words can be tough . . . OK, so it’s two words if you use the contraction, but you get my point. I’ve had a really hard time with them over the years, especially if I wasn’t to blame. 

Now, you’re thinking . . . “What, you say you’re sorry even if you’re not to blame?” 

Well, not every time.  There are those exceptional occasions when another person caused the whole offense, and I had no part in it. Unfortunately, they’re rare. If I’m honest, I can take responsibility for some part of every disagreement, misunderstanding and event that requires an apology.

But the most frustrating part of the “I’m Sorry” saga is watching people who never take responsibility for anything. You’ve met them, the perfect ones. They don’t need to change a thing, they have it all figured out. It’s frustrating for me as a leader in a church because those folks are stuck.

All my life I’ve lived with men who can fix anything. First my Dad, then my husband and Father-in-law. Yep, if it’s broke they can fix it. The problem is they can’t fix it if they can’t tell it’s broke. When I was young, I remember my mom having some car problems, but when Daddy took it for a drive, the car ran perfectly. There was nothing he could do because he couldn’t see or hear any problems. After I married, I discovered it wasn’t just my dad! My husband and Father-in-law had the same difficulty. I’ve come to believe that a car knows whose driving it, and will not make the noises when the mechanically inclined are behind the wheel. 

Whatever the reason for the car running soundly for the men in my life, the fact they couldn’t diagnose the problem didn’t mean there wasn’t one. It just meant the car couldn’t get better. 

It’s the same for us humans. Just because we don’t take responsibility for our mistakes doesn’t mean we didn’t make any. Coming across as perfect doesn’t make me respect a person more, it makes me suspicious. When a person has an answer for everything and never has a story that includes how they messed it up, I start looking for the place in their life journey where they got stuck. 

Let me give you a few examples:

Divorce . . . it takes two people to make a marriage strong. If you’re on the road to divorce and you didn’t do a thing to damage the marriage, you’re stuck. (Unless, of course, you’ve been beaten, physically or emotionally. You should never take responsibility for someone attacking you, with their fists or their words.)

Parenting . . . that’s one of the toughest jobs out there. Even if your kids have turned out better than anyone could have possibly hoped, if you’ve never taken stock of things you wish you’d done different, you’re stuck.

Friendship . . . (or the end of one) If you have a friendship that ended and it’s all the other person’s fault, you’re stuck.

In every relationship, every situation, you could probably do something different to make it smoother. Perhaps what you did was your best, you didn’t know any better. That’s OK. Take responsibility for the fact you could have done better and move on. Don’t beat yourself up for it. Don’t even relive it until you think you figured out a better way to have done it. 

But DO admit it. DO embrace every bit of your responsibility in something gone wrong, whether it’s an automobile accident or a relationship mishap. (Yes, your insurance agent would prefer you don’t take responsibility until after the police report is filed) In order to grow and become the best person I can be, at some point admit I have to admit that even if it was for the most part the other person’s fault there may have been something I could have done differently to avoid the damage.

I have an opinion about those who support Socialism

Saturday we worked to make the walkway between our garage and house look nicer. As I dug dirt so there would be room to put the drain pipe in so the water will stay out of the garage, I developed some opinions about those who support Socialism.

I’m assuming if you think Socialism is a good idea, then either:

  1. You are lazy
  2.  You have guilt ridden wealth OR
  3. You don’t think for yourself

I just can’t figure out any other reason a person might believe that someone who does no work at all should have all the same things as someone who was willing to sweat and hurt the way I did Saturday.

Now, before you get all defensive . . . I’m not talking about those who are disabled. In fact, everyone I know who has some sort of anything that others would call a true “disability” works as much as they can or wishes they could. There are no lazy disabled people in my life. Maybe I live in a fairy tale world, but that’s the truth.

I’m not even talking about those who are working full time, but can’t quite make ends meet. Nope, I know several people who are using the welfare system the right way. They are doing as much as they possibly can, and then getting a bit of help so they can feed their kids.

I’m talking about true Socialism where everyone lives on the same amount of money and the government decides who needs more and who needs less.

Doctors go to school for years and give up sleep for a lot of those years. They have skills that few have, so yes, they are going to make more money. And yes, I wish firemen and police officers could make the same, because they are every bit as valuable; however, taxes pay their wages. Truth is, if we really thought they should make more, we’d take some of what we make and donate it to the city earmarking it for those wages.

When I was out there sweating, using the shovel and rake, digging a ditch, shoveling limestone, wishing I could get a shower, I figured out why Socialism can’t work. Cause the truth is this: if someone not willing to work that hard can have exactly what I have after working that hard, I’m not gonna work that hard. Period. End of story.

It’s not that I’m all about myself. I like to help others. But I like to help others who need a hand UP, not a hand OUT.

So  . . . just my two cents . . . and I think it’s a little bit Biblical since 2 Thessalonians 3:10 says “The one who does not work shall not eat.”

More on the Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Just in case you subscribed to my blog to keep up with this crazy disease, let me share a bit.

Tonight I’m writing because I’m miserable. I need to vent, and I hate to talk about it to folks around me. I know they care, but they can’t do anything about it, so why do they want to hear.

At the beginning of July I had managed to work myself down to 10 mg of Prednisone once every other day. I was so excited! I thought maybe it was due to being in the sun more often. Those first two weeks of July were so nice I was in the pool almost every day. Some told me it was probably the exercise, but I don’t really swim. I do get a little workout when we play pool volleyball, but other than that it’s mostly floating around.

The beginning of July was also my Muscle Biopsy, used to make sure I don’t have close sister to Polymyalgia Rheumatica, Polymyositis. The biopsy was every bit as wonderful as it sounds; however, I was able to walk normal by the next day. After they stuck me with an awl seven times and removed seven pieces of deep thigh muscle, the test came back negative, I have no muscle deterioration, so it is Poymyalgia Rheumatica.

As July moved on, the Summer got rainier, so I can’t get out as much. By the end of July I’m back to 10 mg every day. But now, mid-August, that’s not kicking it. I just took the second 10 mg for this 24 hours. It should kick in by midnight so I start to feel better, but right now my eyes hurt, my hips hurt, my shoulders ache and I feel miserable. My throat is sore too, but I can’t tell if that’s due to the disease or I’m getting some kind of throaty thing . . . so I upped the Vitamin C just in case.

I hate to complain. I know so many folks have it worse, and the pain I have tonight is still NOTHING compared to what it was like when I was first diagnosed, but it’s hard for me to concentrate and create.  I just don’t feel like myself.

I’ve spent a lot of time in prayer, and I will always ask for a healing .  . . not because I expect God to do whatever I ask, but because I know He is able . . . I know for a fact my Savior can. So why wouldn’t I ask. If He says, “No,” I’ll wait to find out how He’s going to make this into a Romans 8:28 thing. Until then your prayers are appreciated, and I’m just grateful there is a med I can take to make the pain go away!


I’ve been told I’m a bit philosophical . . . and I guess that’s a true statement. I’ve also decided that I’ve finally lived enough years and seen enough to have some opinions that may be worth listening to. For the last half hour or so I’ve been contemplating pain.

Perhaps you’ve read another post in my blog, and you know I have this autoimmune disease called Polymyalgia Rheumatica (at least that’s what the docs believe it is – I still have a bit more testing to go through). Whatever it is, it causes pain and muscle weakness. My shoulders ache, I have to lift my legs with my hands to get into my car. It seems to effect my throat and my eyes, and it makes me tired.

So, today as I was folding clothes with my shoulders starting to burn, I thought about pain in general. And it occurred to me that everyone has pain. Some is physical, some emotional. There’s psychological pain and even phantom pain. Many would like to think their pain is worse than another’s, but after watching many people who I know live in pain, and then living it myself, I believe that it’s not so much the degree of pain as the permission one gives the pain to control life.

Yes, pain can be debilitating. However, I know folks who’ve had and have pain, crippling pain (yes, literally crippling). But it never stopped them. I didn’t think too much about it when I was ten and watched my grandmother’s body turn on itself. I saw the physical effects the pain had on her body, the twisted fingers and the fragile bones. She never stopped, and she never complained. I was ten. I assumed it wasn’t that bad. In fact during the sixteen years I was privileged to know her before she died, I don’t know if I ever realized she had pain.  And in the past 50+ years I’ve met many like her, people whose pain caused visible disability yet were never stopped by it.

On the other hand I’ve also known people who every ache was a complaint. The pain was/is disabling. Their life completely stops because of the pain. I can’t say whether it’s worse pain than my grandmother and others like her have experienced. Even if these people sat next to my grandmother, there’s no way to know which pain is the worst . . . except perhaps a SED rate . . . that might be an interesting test.

What I do know is the pain for this second group of people has more power. And after years of watching people, I’m inclined to believe it’s power granted by the one who suffers.

Everything I’ve ever heard or read from a medical professional says that those who quit moving because of the pain will experience more pain. And more pain means even less movement for these folks. And this is my experience as well.

Those who dwell on the pain, those who allow the pain to be in control become more and more controlled by the pain. Those who refuse to stop because of the pain, still have pain, but it seems more bearable.

This is not to say we don’t need medicine for the pain. Whether it’s physical, emotional, psychological or other, often we need help. And there should never be any shame in doing everything we can to make it better. But God has created us with a great capacity to heal, and much of that healing seems to be taking authority over the pain. To not allow it to control us anymore than it needs to. (and even that will be different person to person)

There’s no way for me to tell if you are allowing your pain to control you more than it should. However, I have determined that those who talk about their pain more seem to be the ones who give the pain more power.

So in my situation, you’ll probably hear me talk about my pain from time to time because it hurts and I don’t like it. However, if you hear me say I can’t do something because of the pain, go ahead and question me . . . ask me if the activity will make it worse . . . ask me if I want to give the pain the authority to control me . . . because I intend to control my life even when I can’t control the pain.


The Importance of Fathers

I’ve been thinking a lot about Fathers lately. I’d like to write them all a letter, especially those dads who come to church on a somewhat regular basis, or even those dads who show up a couple times a year.  I guess I’d kind of like moms to read what I have to say too, because I’ve seen so many women who undermine every move their husband makes.

The thing is most parents, and adults in general, have no idea the tremendous impact they have on a child’s life. And this reality is even more significant in the world of a Christian.

I’ve lived enough years now to say with confidence I know the answer to raising kids who grow up to know Christ. I guess I can’t make any guarantees, but as I look over the vast number of families I use as my “test subjects.” I can’t find one single deviation from my findings.

Those children who had two parents (or grandparents, if the grandparents were instrumental in raising the children) who both were committed to serving Jesus Christ with no compromising, now have a real relationship with Jesus Christ. I’ve also seen the same results with kids who some sold out Christian chose to mentor.

But let me describe these families a bit for you . . .

These families whose children have grown up to love Jesus seldom missed Sunday worship, and the adults truly wanted to be there. I would venture to say these families would not have missed more than three Sundays a year. There were never any excuses allowed for missing church, sports never took precedence.  The adults were actively involved in the life of the church, they attended special events and fellowship dinners. They helped with clean up days and showed joy in serving. They never acted like it was a chore. Serving Christ and Worshipping Him was never a duty, but it also was required for anyone who stayed under the roof of the house.

These families lived Christianity at home. There were no dual lives. Now, this can become tricky because I know some families who LOOKED like they were living the Christian life, but later it came out that one parent was secretly living a lie. And, you know what? In those instances, it had a profound impact on the children in those homes. When even one parent acted like they were living the Christian life, but in their heart wasn’t, the enemy had a foothold and it effected the children.

On the other hand, the families I know with a 100% success rate with their kids growing up with a living faith, both parents (or other very influential adults) had a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus. By that I mean it wasn’t just  Sunday Morning religion. These folks read the Bible for themselves and pray continually. They invited the Holy Spirit to live in their home and most gave their kids to Christ when they were young.

And gentlemen. . . one for you . . . each of these families had a male modeling the life of Christ. Sometimes it was a strong grandfather. I’ve even seen individual children who’ve been influenced by a male mentor in the congregation, but in most of the cases I’ve experienced, the instrumental and deciding factor was a dad of faith, especially in the case of sons becoming sold out people of Christ.

Guys, you have an awesome responsibility. You are more influential than you think. And ladies, when you undermine your child’s father’s influence, you damage your child (unless of course your child’s father is a drug addict or criminal of sorts).

Men were designed to be the spiritual head of the household, you set the standard of faith for your family. If you allow the enemy into your life, you allow the enemy into the lives of each member of your family. If you cheat, that spirit of deception will be in your household and your children will be susceptible to it. You set the bar.

So many men set the bar so low. As the leader of your home, you are the one who gives authorization for which Spirit is allowed in. And sometimes you can give permission by your actions. Your prayer life and the life you live outside of church determine the spirituality of your home. If your wife is living a holy life, but you are not, you are still bringing in spirits that will influence your children, and while your wife has the power to do the same, it seems from all I’ve watched through the years, that in a traditional marriage, the man has more clout in the Spirit world. I know some women who won’t like that, but it’s just what I’ve observed.

It’s not terrible to let your wife do most of the spiritual, biblical training in the home, but your kids should know you support it. They should see you read your Bible, or at least see you carry it and know you value the words in it, even if you read before they wake or after they go to bed. Your family should hear you pray and know you pray for them. And most of all, the Holy Spirit should be the only Spirit you allow into your home.

None of this is to say kids can’t find Christ in a single parent family or with only one Christian parent. It happens! Plus, when single parents immerse their children into a good loving congregation, one which places an emphasis on a relationship with Christ, the odds of their children finding Christ in a real way increase significantly. Which means even you men who have no kids still have a responsibility!

As I write, Father’s Day is only two days away.  The main reason we should honor fathers is because of the power they have in the lives of children.  I pray for dads everywhere that they may recognize the awesome God-given responsibility they have so kids can begin to have a fighting chance in this world.




More about the Polymyalgia Rheumatica

So, after really thinking about this “condition,” I’m starting to wonder if it started years ago. The TIA I had in 2016 could have triggered it I suppose, although the things that are making me wonder about when it started didn’t appear till 2013.

That was the year I started gaining weight. My doctor attributed it to my age and slowing metabolism, but I started gaining a pound a month. I finally started eating more protein and complex carbs and got it under control, but I still haven’t lost those pesky pounds.

It was the next Summer I noticed my hips started hurting.  I didn’t even tell the docs about this one! I assumed it was because I’m over 50. They didn’t really hurt that bad. It was a little difficult to put pants on some days, but never horrible. I remember the date because in 2013 I walked all night for our Relay for Life Team, but that year I couldn’t.  I had to take a lot of breaks.

It was the next year I noticed my hands didn’t work the way I wanted them to from time to time.  It was most evident in my handwriting. I really like the way I write, and I just didn’t seem to have the control I’d always had. I had a little bit of numbness now and then, but no pain really. So, again, I never told a doctor.

Right around Easter of 2016 I had a horrific bout with what seemed to be sciatica. It was excruciating! I went to a chiropractor, had some x-rays taken and got some exercises from a Physical Therapist. This seriously may have just been a problem with my sciatic nerve but now I have to wonder.

It was that same year that my stomach felt funny a lot and my shoulders began to hurt a bit. Neither was anything I considered to be major. I attributed them to my age. But the shoulders especially may have been the beginning of all this.

By the end of the year, I felt exhausted all of the time. My brain was in a fog a lot. I even told my neurologist and PCP. Both thought I needed to exercise more (and I probably do)

The most disconcerting thing is that I got till I have problems singing. My throat feels tight and weak all the time. The ENT gave me Flonase and said some of it was caused by Acid Reflux, but even after taking care of those two problems, I can’t count on my voice to be strong.

Finally, last fall, I remember thinking if I don’t figure out a way to exercise my eyelids, I’m going to have to have surgery to keep them open. I attributed it to being tired all the time, but now I have to wonder, are my eyelids heavy because I’m tired or do I feel tired because the muscles in my eyelids are effected.

I still have no idea how much of this is related to the way I feel now, but I think some of this is more than coincidence.

I and an EMG (Electro Myography) this week. It looks like all of my nerves are working OK. I see Doc in June to get the results . . . until then . . .

The Devil is a Liar

It’s true . . . The Devil is a Liar.

But you probably knew that.

I’m pretty sure everyone has heard that Lucifer lies, and for the most part, I think Christians, even nominal ones, believe it. But something I’ve learned over the years is that humans don’t often live what they say they believe.

Many years ago I attended a retreat once or twice a year. We were not allowed to mention occupations during the entire retreat, so at the end we had to tell folks our name and something about ourselves. I remember one time a bunch of clergy wives were there. The first one said her name and said, “I sleep with my pastor!” The room busted, and several of us followed suit, “I sleep with my pastor, too!” It was fun!  We also went on to tell about our day job or our children.

I’ve had a number of day jobs, from waitress to receptionist, store clerk, layout designer and more.  But at the time I wanted to sing. I was performing a few times each month with a band, and soon after I was doing solo concerts. So I decided to start introducing myself like that, “Hi, I’m Lynne. I’m a singer/songwriter.” I knew if I wanted that to be who I was I needed to embrace that identity myself. I obviously wouldn’t e able to convince anyone else I was a singer/songwriter if I didn’t believe it.

I think we Christians need to do the same thing.

We need to embrace our identity in Christ and begin to say it out loud even if we don’t believe it.

The enemy reminds us constantly of our faults and failures. We bury the past, and he digs it up like a dog that’s found a bone in the backyard. That bully can smell our insecurities, and he plays on them.

But just like a human bully, the best thing we can do is ignore him or stand up to him.

When you hear your spiritual bully whisper those lies in your ear, I want you to ask yourself, “What do I know to be true?”

Here are a few truths to get your started:

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Ephesians 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light

Colossians 1:21-22 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation

1 Peter 2:10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

I am near God. I am Light. I am holy. I have no blemishes. No one has any reason to accuse me of anything (not even me). I’ve received mercy and pardon. I am loved by the Creator of the Universe.

The enemy needs reminded often of these truths. When we hear the lies of the enemy, it’s imperative we begin to speak these truths over our lives. Say them out loud so the enemy can hear! Remind him of whose you are!

And until you believe you are who Christ says you are, perhaps listening to this song over and over will help you:  Matthew West, Child of the One True King


More on Guns

So many folks have asked my opinion about guns lately. They did it on Facebook, so I’m not sure they meant it. I started to reply to two people, but decided to put it here instead so those who wanted to read it could, and perhaps I wouldn’t get the hate replies I’d see otherwise.

One friend understands a total ban of guns isn’t the answer, and she mentions love, hope and faith.

My thoughts . . . banning guns won’t make a difference. Stricter laws won’t make a difference. Most of the ones used are gained illegally. They are breaking the law to take the gun on school property.
This friend is correct, we’ve lost our center of love, faith, and hope. Throughout history, when that center has been Yahweh and then Yeshua there has been care for the neglected and forgotten. In every time period, the people who respected life the most were true followers of Yahweh and Yeshua.
Jesus Christ has been proven to change the hearts of people, yet, even Christianity today isn’t what it should be. We water it down to make it palatable, and it becomes destructive. Again, proven through history. Many nations embraced Christianity, but they had to make it work for their society, and when they changed Christianity to meet their needs, their nation crumbled. They tried to “win people to Christ” by means with which Christ never asked them to, and gave Christianity a bad name.
Today, in America, a nation who tolerates Christians at best, people don’t feel loved. They don’t understand respect.
Even if you take out the Christian aspect, if children were just taught to respect others, much of this would stop. I read a statistic from Japan about their “deaths by gun” (which I believe is skewed because it’s an unbelievably low number) and one thing in that country that would create a lower percentage is that they instill utmost respect for others into their children.
Even those with terrible mental health . . . if value of life had been instilled in them at a young age, taking a gun and killing others would not be one of their early instincts. There would be so many other signs that it would be much more obvious there was a danger. There’d still be a few cases that would slip through, but by and large, what is instilled in us as children is difficult for us to overcome . . . bad and good.  The mentally ill who have been learned to value life and respect others will take their own life before they will take another.
But today, kids are given war games as early as six years old. Life is something that regenerates and killing and blood are nothing. We have a desensitized population.
Respect is a bad word, unless of course you are under 20 and the one being “disrepected.” Didn’t anyone ever tell those kids they don’t deserve respect. They deserve to be treated with love, with compassion, but not respect. Respect is earned, and sometimes it’s earned through title . . . teacher, principal, doctor, president.  These titles get my respect even when the person holding them hasn’t earned my trust.
And more and more folks want to ban guns or types of weapons. That was the lament of my second friend.  As much as I’d like to agree because I don’t think they are necessary, I believe this is a dangerous practice. History has proven that if a government is given too much absolute power it will become corrupt (or it is corrupt if it seeks that kind of power). If the people are unarmed they become susceptible to an evil government. Most tyrannical leaders and governments who were able to wield any power in the past have begun with disarmed citizens.
I understand it’s a delicate topic, but let’s take the focus off the weapon!  Stop it! Find ways to help those who are so disturbed they feel the need to take a weapon to a school.  How badly have they been hurt, even unintentionally, in that place to feel like that’s the place to begin their killing spree.
Put a great counselor/psychologist in every school, someone who will meet with every child in the school every quarter and be available to show love and compassion to those who aren’t getting it at home.
Force parents to show respect to teachers, even those they don’t like. The schools should quit bending to parents who think their child should get their own way every time.  Force parents to force their children to follow the rules. No excuses. I’ve seen kids with ADHD follow the rules, yes, they need a bit more understanding, but they showed me respect and I could tell they were doing their best to follow the rules even when their bodies were rejecting sitting still.
A person willing to kill children in a school has been emotionally scarred.  Let’s stop that!  Let’s enforce policies which don’t allow one teacher to be with one student. Let’s help children understand that is never allowed no matter what the teacher says. Let’s give more love to children who don’t know where they have to go each night after school because they have a split family and go to grandma’s house two nights a week, dad’s one night and mom’s another.  Let’s keep an eye on kids who are with babysitters a lot. When they show signs of even a little abuse, let’s investigate.
Why aren’t there free clinics for those who feel like they need to kill someone. Why don’t I see billboards for that as often as I see ones for those who want to quit gambling.  I’m pretty sure the casinos are required to put up those billboards, let’s start a free hotline and ask the gun companies to fund those billboards (I bet they would – without legislation).
There are a lot of things that could happen to help this situation, but the focus is so skewed toward gun regulation that the people who need help aren’t getting it.
Stop discussing guns!!!
Start discussing humans!!!

Relationships – Part three – Restoration

You can read part one of this article HERE

Another misnomer about forgiveness is the restoration of the relationship. Some folks won’t forgive because they think the relationship must be restored to its original status, and they are afraid of being betrayed again.

This is tricky. Because it’s easy in our humanness to decide we’ve been hurt beyond repair. We won’t allow the relationship to be healed. But the truth is oftentimes relationships are able to be healed if both parties are willing. Unless the offender has betrayed or abused you, and you know the betrayal and abuse will not stop, there’s a good chance restoration is an option.

Especially if you are being abused, the relationship does not have to be restored until the abuser has taken all the steps necessary to get help and you know you are safe. Forgiveness is still important for your health, but restoration can’t come until the abuser is willing to admit his or her problem and get lots of help and healing. Not even the promise of counseling is enough to walk back into an abusive relationship.

Even God has standards for restoration. In order for us to be restored to the relationship humans had with our Creator in the Garden of Eden, we first have to be made new by accepting Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. God forgives long before we ask, but the restoration occurs when we meet his conditions. Human relationships can be the same.

Not that it gives us permission to set up unrealistic conditions and expectations. We don’t get to be dictators or give ultimatums on what has to happen for a relationship to be restored, but in the case of abuse or betrayal, we are allowed to protect ourselves and those around us before a relationship is restored.

There are offenses which are less drastic, though. In fact, most relationship busters are not abusive, most don’t include betrayal. Most are caused by misunderstanding and human error. Many are set off by difference of opinions or judgement. In each of these cases, full restoration is possible if both parties are willing to admit their part in the problem and then offer full and unconditional forgiveness.  But both of those things are hard.

Relationships aren’t easy. But they’re worth it if you’re willing to work on it a bit.

Relationships – Part Two

If you stumbled upon this post and haven’t read part one, you can read it HERE.

Another thing I’ve discovered about relationships is that they require us to understand we are in community with other human beings. There are going to be problems. I am not going to like every thing every single person in my circle does every single day.  Even the most well meaning human being will let us down from time to time. We’ll get our feelings hurt or be offended. It’s gonna happen! The thing that makes for a successful or unsuccessful relationship is how it’s handled. Once a person comes to that realization, they’ll have a much better time making relationships work.

The last time I talked about each person taking responsibility for his or her part in the schism. But what’s next? And by next, I mean first . . .

Even before the other person takes responsibility for his or her actions, I have to forgive, just let it go, don’t take offense. It’s easier when I remember I’ve probably offended someone else in a similar way, and I hope they’ve forgiven me. And it’s one hundred times easier since I’ve come to the realization that all my faults caused Christ to be crucified, and He forgave me, loves me and wants a fully restored relationship with me.

But forgiveness is hard. I know.

One of the main things people need to understand is that forgiveness does not excuse the offense, it merely removes it’s hold on YOU. You forgiving is NOT the same as saying, “It’s OK, do it again.” It’s simply saying, “I don’t want this to cause me anymore pain, so I’m releasing it. I’m no longer going to hold it against you.” I think that makes some forgiveness a little easier. So many people believe that forgiveness excuses a person or gives them permission to cause the offense again. It doesn’t. Even Jesus told the woman, “Go and sin no more.” She was forgiven, but He didn’t want her to returning to the life that caused her need for forgiveness.

Holding on to unforgiveness is like grasping the end of chains that are anchored to a wall and refusing to let go. Those chains hold you, but by your choice. You are bound, just like a prisoner, except you could let go. Sin is much the same, except sin puts us in shackles, and Jesus’ death on the cross holds the key to loose them. But either way, you’re stuck. You may as well be the one who committed the offense because whether you are the offender or the one offended, without forgiveness, both are bound by chains that keep them from the true peace and freedom Christ came to bring.

This article is continued HERE