Thursday, June 19, 2014

I Believe in Giving Second Chances {I'm a HOPELESS Romantic!}

Good Evening, Lovelies!
I hope this finds you doing well on this Thursday!

Tonight I'm stopping by to tell you a little bit more about myself.
This is rather a large part of me
and if you've been following my blog for very long at all,
I'm sure you've already picked up on this...
I am a HOPELESS romantic.

In EVERY sense of the word.
I'm into mushy movies, nostalgic novels, and melancholy music.
(See...the fact that I came up with those adjectives
kinda proves my point for me...
by the way, is there a name for matching the first letter of an adjective
to the first letter of the noun????
Just curious...anyway...).
I view the world through rose-colored glasses most of the time.
That's just me I guess.

In some ways this is fine.
It has helped me find the good in bad situations.
For example, my romantic notions
cause me to seek until I find
something worth hoping for and/or believing in
even when it seems there will never be a light at the end of the tunnel.
It's made me appreciate the importance of family
and treasure the little things in life.
Like hugs from my kiddos,
fields covered in dandelions and clovers,
and the glorious vibrancy of autumn.

My romantic notions have DEFINITELY spilled over into my every day life!
Like the fact that I usually give mushy cards for people's birthdays.
Some people think I'm too mushy,
but I think life is short and unpredictable
and that we should say how we feel while we have the chance.
I try to make each child I come into contact feel special.
I try to remember to smile,
because my smile might be the only thing
a person sees that can brighten up their day.
And, yes, this means that I truly believe
that something as small as a smile can effect a person's entire day.

My romantic notions have also impacted my life in more significant ways as well.
They've taught me to CHOOSE to believe in people.
I think people deserve the opportunity to make up for past mistakes.
After all, that's what I want after I mess up and hurt those around me:
a second chance to prove that I can be trusted not to hurt them again.
Along with ole' Abe, I choose to look for the good in people.
I am making the conscious choice to believe that people are worth trusting.

Having now said that, I don't mean that I'm burying my head in the sand.
We were all born with a sin nature.
We are all naturally self-seeking and self-pleasing.
And there are people in this world who do terrible things.
There are people who intentionally wish to cause harm in other people's lives,
but I would venture to say that in general we as humans are not like that.
As humans we enjoy giving gifts to our children,
we feel better about ourselves when we donate time and/or money to charities,
we appreciate stories of individuals who take time to rescue an injured animals.
As a species, we like doing good things.
And it that aspect of our characters, that I choose to believe in.

I'm not saying its always easy.
At times, it feels straight up impossible.
Particularly after someone has intentionally, repeatedly hurt you.
Jesus dealt with this issue with his disciples in the Book of Matthew.
"...Peter got up the nerve to ask,
'Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?'
Jesus replied, 'Seven? Hardly! Try seventy times seven!'"
(Matthew 18:21-22 The Message)
But does this mean that a woman who has been a victim of spousal abuse
should stay in the marriage and continue to put herself in the position to be abused?
Should a child repeatedly and silently submit himself
to the emotional trauma of verbal bullying?
Should a person keep putting their trust into another person
who keeps hurting them?

I think the answer lies in the remainder of that chapter in Matthew.
After answering Peter, Jesus told him a story:
"The kingdom of God is like a king who decided to square accounts with his servants.
As he got underway, one servant was brought before him
who had run up a debt of a hundred thousand dollars.
He couldn't pay up, so the king ordered the man,
along with his wife, children, and goods,
to be auctioned off at the slave market.
The poor wretch threw himself at the king's feet and begged,
'Give me a chance and I'll pay it all back.'
Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt.

The servant was no sooner out of the room
when he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him ten dollars.
He seized him by the throat and demanded, 'Pay up. Now!'
The poor wretch threw himself down and begged,
'Give me a chance and I'll pay it all back!'
But he wouldn't do it.
He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid.
When the other servants saw this going on,
they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king.

The king summoned the man and said,
'You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy.
Shouldn't you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who ask for mercy?'
The king was furious and put the screws to the man
until he paid back his entire debt.'"

Jesus concluded the story by saying this:
"And that's exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do
to each one of you who doesn't forgive unconditionally
anyone who asks for mercy."

I could very possibly be completely out of context by saying this
(after all, it is nearly midnight and I'm pretty tired...),
but I think part of the point Jesus was making was this:
We are to forgive and a give a second chance (or a 490th chance) 
to those who show genuine repentance and ask for our forgiveness.
Again, I'm not saying it's easy.
In fact its something that I struggle with on a daily basis.
The carnal nature I was born with doesn't like to forgive and forget.
No! It likes to hold grudges and make people pay for their mistakes.
So when I say I'm CHOOSING to give second chances,
I'm saying that I'm making a real effort
to go against my nature and do what I know to be right.

And I hope you will too...
not only will you greatly benefit from it
(there's nothing quite as freeing as forgiving and being forgiven),
but I will too.
I mess up a lot and am in need of frequent mercy.

Anyway, I hope you have a great day tomorrow!
I don't know about you,
but I'm looking forward to the weekend!
It promises New Beginnings! :)