Elephants, majestic, loveable, gentle beasts, are tamed by cruel means I hate reading about in Thailand, principally, in Nepal, in India and in Malaysia.
A common trick, less cruel than the others though, is this. The elephant is initially chained to a tree with heavy chains. Later, however, the mahouts don’t bother to attach the chain to the tree. The elephant, however, stands motionless or paces for long hours believing himself to be chained. However, all it takes for him to be free is to gallop away; he can trample those who cruelly abused him and crushed his spirit while he was chained.
That’s us sometimes, chained when we can so easily be free.
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The biggest chain which binds people to ugliness they do not wish to be bound to?
It is when we cannot forgive, and so people who do not deserve that honour inhabit our hearts and emotions.
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One way to tell what a blogger, or preacher, struggles with is to scroll through a few years of her posts or sermons. We write our obsessions. We teach best what we need to learn the most.
Forgiveness, very sadly, does not come easily to me.
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How do we cut the chains that bind us? How do we forgive?
We need the grace of God. Forgiveness is as hard to accomplish by an act of will as breaking a drug, alcohol or nicotine addiction by an act of will (though all of these are possible).
Forgiveness is terribly hard, and when you have done so, you have the same relief as when you have tidied a cluttered room.
You sleep so soundly. You sleep so deeply. You sleep so well.
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This is the best way I know of cutting the chains which bind you to those who have injured you. You say, “Yes, you have sinned against me; you have deceived me; you have lied about me… whatever, whatever. But I will not hold it against you. I will even pray that God blesses all the goodness in you and uses it for his Kingdom. My raw emotions sometimes feel that you deserve to be cursed not blessed, but I do not want the toxins of such sentiments in my mouth or heart. So I bless you in the name of Jesus. Go and be blessed.”
Phew. And in those simple words, the act of blessing, you are free.
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And tomorrow, your tiny un-elephant brain may forget the beautiful resolutions of today, the glorious transaction of today, and get all bitter again.
Don’t be surprised, dear reader. It’s par for the course. It’s called being human.
So, dear one, do it all over again. Cut the chain of grievance once again. Pray blessing on those who have injured you once again. It does not seem that they deserve it, but you, oh child of God, deserve peace, oh yes, you do.
Do it for Jesus. Do it for you.