And We ALL Fall Down
No matter how hard we try to do our best to please and obey God... we all fall down! Everyday we come up short in some area. Maybe we have ungodly thoughts. Maybe we had the opportunity to help someone but chose not to for our own "selfish" reason. Maybe we cursed or said unkind things that hurt someone. Whatever the case, we all fall short everyday.
But that's the wonderful thing about our Heavenly Father. He loves us so much that, with His under- standing and compassion, He is able to have mercy on us. By the Grace of God, we are given the opportunity to try again. By God's Grace, we are learning and growing to become the person He created us to be.
I pray, those of you who have been following the "40 Day Fast From Wrongful Thinking" are receiving a revealation and it is helping you to grow. I recently encountered a situation and am so grateful I was able to refer to the copies I printed from the "fast". Here is my testimony on how it has helped me:
I became very frustrated with a friend because I thought they were lying to someone whom I love dearly and I didn't want them to be hurt. I was quick to jump to conclusions and immediately, I sent them a Facebook message and a text message telling them how I felt. Some accusations I made were NOT based on FACTS and that's a huge mistake I made. (We should ALWAYS get the FACTS BEFORE we confront someone.)
Later that night, before I went to bed, I kept repeating in my mind Ephesians 4:26, "Be angry, but do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your wrath." Well, I had already sinned by jumping to conclusions and sending the messages but I knew the best thing I could do now was to apologize.
I studied Day 10--"I Feel So Angry" from the 40 day fast and it fit me so well that day. Then I studied Day 5-- "It's Too Late" and I REALLY focused on these two items:
1. UN--DECIDE that it's too late for these things to change. Un-decide that you can't recover! Un-decide that the damage is irreversible. It's not too lae to turn your finances around; to recover from a tragedy or mistake; to surrender your life to God; to take better care of yourself; to change the way you see yourself; to apologize; to break a bad habit; or to start saving.
5. Adjust your thinking here: STOP making excuses for why it's too late. God doesn't listen to our excuses. Realize, HE IGNORES OUR EXCUSES, and EXPECTS us to believe in His faithfulness. We claim we have low self-esteem or a disability. Moses wasn't confident and he had a speech impediment, but God gave him chance after chance to be used by Him to deliver God's people.
I also studied Day 6-- "I've Messed Things Up Too Badly" and I focused on:
2. DON'T underestimate the power of confession. (1 John 1:9). Confessing our sins before God is both liberating and therapeutic. He is faithful to forgive, to cleanse and to heal. (James 5:16)
I didn't use the excuse, so many others often use, "Well, I'm NOT perfect! I'm only human!" Instead, I chose to be accountable for my wrongful actions and take responsibility. I owned up to my mistake and confessed, "I was wrong. I made a mistake because I didn't pray on it. I was quick to anger. But I'll do the right thing and apologize and move on from there." And as hard as it was for me, I DID apologize.
I still felt a little bit guilty so I studied Day 11-- "I Feel Guilty". And soon afterwards, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace overcome me. I was so calm it was easy for me to go to sleep resting assured that God had forgiven me. Whether or not my friend accepted my apology and forgave me really wasn't on my mind. I did what I was suppose to do and I was now free from conndemnation. If they choose to not forgive me then that is now between them and God.
If my sincerest apology cannot repair ANY relationship; be it friend, family, co-worker, schoolmate, etc, then apparently that relationship was NOT built on a solid foundation. If it was not on a solid foundation then, apparently, it wasn't meant to last. It was only a *Season relationship. (* refer to my article INSIGHTFUL MESSAGE "Seasons Of A Lifetime")
I encourage you... if you have not been following the fast, please do so. IT'S NOT TOO LATE! And for those who have been following, I strongly recommend you print them up and keep them handy to reference. They work great whenever you feel you've done wrong or need spiritual uplifting.
Love and Blessings!