Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel:" 'The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'?   Ezekiel 18:2 (NIV)


Many people live under a death sentence. Not one imposed by the state. Rather, one imposed by themselves. It is called the "I can't help it" death sentence.


People believe that an action in the past must permanently affect life now and forever. "My dad abused me, therefore I will be wounded the rest of my life." I was fired and had to file bankruptcy, therefore I am a lesser being the rest of my life." "I committed adultery (murder, a felony, addiction, divorce…) and, therefore, am unworthy - forever." "I have___________ and, therefore, am incapable of living - forever."


My past defines me. I'm stuck. I cannot help it. I just need to emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically sit on the sidelines of life on the "injured reserve" list.


Rubbish. This is not to say the experiences were not real or that they did not hurt. It is to say that they are over. We are responsible for us. God has gone through great pains to make sure that, no matter what, we still have a life, and a good one, to live – now and eternally. In other words, those events no longer hurt us; it is we who continue to hurt ourselves.


God wants to heal us of all hurts. God heals with the words, "I forgive you." Whether we need to say them to others or ourselves, we need to say them. The key to this life is to forgive, just as God does. Forgiving means to write off the debt that someone truly owes us and to move on. Forgiving does not mean that that things return to normal or that we instantly resume trust. Forgiving means, "I refuse to carry around a burden that is not mine. It belongs to God and he can have it."


Rereading the Ezekiel passage, I know that bad experiences are often perceived as genetic and permanently disabling. I know, too, that my perceptions are often clouded. In this case, what I perceive as true is a lie. I am free…if I want to be. God says so.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this posting. I needed to be reminded of not living in the past and I'm going to forward it on to others I love. Thank you for your ministry.