Saturday, April 5, 2014

Being Content: Relationships.

today i'm linking up with Still Being Molly for funday monday!

so, as you have probably figured out, i am reading about 4 books at the same time. i go back and forth depending on the topic and what i'm struggling with/needing at the time.

this post is based on the book "calm my anxious heart" by linda dillow. so many life-changing concepts in this book!

in chapter 1, linda discusses the prescription/recipe for contentment, which sets the precedence for my ah-ha moments today:

as previously mention in this post & this post, i have been struggling with bitterness over the past few months. when i read this chapter today, things just clicked. i think i doggy-eared every page!  totally a God thing, ya know?! i just love it when God answers prayers and give specific directions on how he wants us to follow his will! 

anyways, the chapter is really talking about how to be content in our relationships- specifically forgiveness. here are some quotes from the book that really stood out to me:

"it's easy for us to think, he was God in the flesh; He didn't feel hurt and rejection like i do. but scripture tells us Jesus was in pain. he began to be grieved and distressed. "my soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death" {matthew 26:38). he needed his friends; he invited them to share his agony. the failed him. and to make matters worse, this happened two more times! it's one thing to be disappointed once, but can you imagine how you'd feel if your friends continued to fail you?" P.74

"Even after (his friends) betrayed him, Jesus reached out to (them). He forgave them, even though they had hurt him repeatedly." p.75
br />

ms. dillow references charles swendoll's book growing strong in the seasons of life to describe what bitterness does to our lives:

"bitterness steeps into the basement of our lives like run-off from a broken sewer pipe. every form of ugliness begins to float to the surface of those murky waters: prejudice and profanity, suspicion and hate, cruelty and cynicism. there is no torment like the inner torment of bitterness, which is the by-product of an unforgiving spirit. it refuses to be soothed, it refuses to be healed, it refuses to forget. there is no prison more damaging than the bars of bitterness that will not let the battle end." p. 76

this really hit home for me, describing some of the specific things i've been dealing with.

ms. dillow refers to {matthew 18:23-25} and then says, 'this is serious. did you hear what Jesus said? in other words, if i refuse to forgive jana, my husband, my children, my colleague, my friend, i will become a victim of torture -- meaning intense inner torment. the root of bitterness will literally eat me alive. i will become a walled in a concentration camp of my own making'" p.78

ohmygosh. super convicting. i have totally done this to myself.

"forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hate. forgiveness breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness. while dying on the cross, Jesus said, "forgive them" - the roman soldiers, the religious leaders, his disciples who had fled in the darkness, even you and me who have denied him so many times-- 'forgive them, for they know not what they do.'" p. 79

"as i prayed for jana as asked, 'how can i bless her?' God gave me creative ways to reach out in love. ... did i feel like loving? no. did i feel like giving a blessing? no. but God continued to prompt me to go beyond forgiveness. to put the act of forgiving into the action of forgiving. to make secret choices in my heart, in my will. my choices had nothing whatsoever to do with my feelings." p. 81, bold emphasis, mine

holy cow. this is one of the biggest points for me!! she didn't feel like forgiving, but for herself and for her relationships- with that person and the Lord, she chose to forgive anyways. this is something that i continually need to remember. it's not how you feel, it's a choice you make. 

"we can't control others: husband, children, friends, roommate, coworker, relatives. we can't make choices for others, only for ourselves. we can trust God, and we can trust ourselves! we can do our part to pursue peace in relationships- and that brings contentment." p.83

i pray that as you read this, it helps you become more content in your life, especially with your relationships.

**if you'd like to read things book, which i highly recommend, you can buy it here**

Follow on Bloglovin

1 comment:

  1. I love when we read books that are so fitting to what we are dealing with in life! I can totally relate to underlining and dog earring like a mad woman some days. I'm going to have to add that book to my list of to-reads!
    Thanks for link up with the Jack of All Trades link up!