|Here's a picture of one of our NY mornings. Pretty and peaceful!|
"Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him"
My working definition of forgiveness is "choosing to forget the offense as Christ forgave (completely, as far as east is from west)" But, do I treat my kids that way? When they misbehave and are disciplined...The next time they do it (and we all know there's a next time)...do I say, "I've told you 15 times to STOP doing that..!" Or...is it really forgiven and do I handle it with love and full forgiveness AGAIN...and again...
Honestly, my husband and I chewed on this a bit after church...and I'm not saying that punishment shouldn't increase or there isn't a point where you say, "Dearest Child, you seem to be having a problem with X behavior and continue to do it repeatedly...I want you to understand that being truly sorry means that you will try to correct your behavior in this area. If you can't, your consequences will increase!"
I guess, this touched my heart because I'm feeling tender to it. I know the potential I have towards a critical spirit...to be an impatient and unkind MomE. So, this is good for me to think about and focus on...It'll hopefully balance me out a bit. I'm working towards a kinder, gentler MomE. Don't worry, there's no real worries that I'll turn into one of those spineless mothers that "reasons" with her children instead of disciplining/parenting them. I simply see the need for a bit of balance in my own heart.
We also heard a neat quote/definition of forgiveness that a couple was using...I looked it up and found out David Augsburger wrote these three really goodies...
-"forgiveness is not holy amnesia that erases the past---instead, it is the experience of healing that draws the poison out. You may recall that hurt, but you will not relive the hurt."
-"the hornet of memory may fly again, but forgiveness has drawn out the sting."
-"the grease of forgiving love can reduce the friction and salve the irritation."
Obviously, I need to get my hands on his two books... The Freedom of Forgiveness and Caring Enough to Forgive/ Caring Enough Not to Forgive.
God loved us when we were SINNERS...not after he saved and cleansed us.
"For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."