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RubyMARCH2017


Resentment

Who’s Having The Last Laugh Now?

 
Do you like watching America’s Funniest Home Videos? I do. It never gets old watching people’s antics, especially when they go wrong.
 
Most of the situations are harmless, although I’m sure some have led to an ambulance ride or two.
 
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It’s one thing to laugh at someone else’s expense for giving their six year old a bat for a piñata and then standing too close when the boy starts swinging.
 
It’s another thing to laugh at someone’s misfortune or pain.
 
Think about the recent divorce of Hollywood couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The media have made a joke of their family’s crisis because, as some have claimed, Brad and Angelina started seeing each other while Brad was still with Jennifer Aniston, costar of the mega hit 90s TV sitcom Friends. Suddenly,  we hear…
 

  • He had it coming to him.
  • What goes around comes around.
  • Serves him right.
  • Karma is a (blank).
  • Jennifer’s having the last laugh.

 
I don’t know whether Jennifer is having the last laugh. But when I feel wronged, my initial response is to lash out, to get the final word, to see the person get what’s coming to them.
 

I want to have the last laugh.

 
Normal? Yes. Healthy? No.
 
When we rejoice in the misfortune of others–however small or great, we hurt still. We have not recovered. Our wounds are infected and need healing.
 
We know we’ve recovered when seeing the misfortune of those who’ve hurt us saddens us too.
 
Compassion, not criticism, reveals healing.
 
Compassion doesn’t come quickly. It delays. It meanders its way to us. Compassion remembers what pain feels like.
 
What to do? Ignore the hurt? Pretend it didn’t happen? Shrug it off? No. Feel the pain. Voice it out to God. Expose your feelings of betrayal before Him. Trust Him with your raw hurt.
 
Then…and you’ll know when, pray for them, that God will draw them closer to Him, that He would meet their needs, that He would heal their wounds. That He would bless them.
 
Yes–bless them.
 
For example, Job prayed for “friends” who criticized, insulted, and blamed him for all the tragedy in his life. The Bible says “the Lord released Job from captivity when he prayed for his friends” (Job 42:10a).
 
Our hurts hold us captive when we want to have the last laugh on those who’ve hurt us or our loved ones. God can release us from that captivity just like He did for Job.
 

 
The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part…. Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so Job died, an old man and full of years. (Job 42:12, 17)
 

 
Job lived peacefully. He enjoyed life. He laughed–a lot.
 
Can you hear his laughter? It isn’t a “you’ll get yours” type of laugh. It’s a laughter of healing, freedom, and compassion.
 
Job chose his last laugh. You can too.
 
 
Come alongside… Has someone hurt you or a loved one? Are you waiting to have the last laugh? How can you start healing from this hurt? How can you pray for the person who hurt you or those you love? Do you have a story of a time you prayed for someone who hurt you? Comment below in the box that says, “Leave a reply.” Remember you can comment anonymously.
 
 

Forgive and Forget? Not Really. (Part 2)

 
Hi, friends!
 
forgiveforgetrev1
Several months ago, I wrote the post, “Forgive and forget? Not Really.” In that post, I said I agreed with the “forgive” part of that age-old saying. (If you haven’t read it yet, hop on over to that post and chime in on our discussion.)
 
 
I ended that post saying I would address the “and forget” part in the next post. Summer came and went. So did the holidays, and still no follow-up on the post.
 
 
I haven’t wanted to talk about the “and forget” part–much less, blog about it. Several things happened after the first post that have challenged me in the forgiveness department. It’s as if God was saying:
 
 

“Do you really believe what you say you believe, Daphne?”

 
 
With God’s help, lots of tears, and the help of my family, friends, and my recovery group, I’m working through the forgiveness part–and doing well, at least, for today. 😉
 
 
Lately, the “and forget” part has come to mind, which, if you ask me, shows progress. Does that mean I should just go ahead and forget about what happened? Should I erase the bad things that have consumed me for the past year? Do I pretend the harmful things that have dominated every waking–and “sleeping”–moment of my life since early summer no longer matter? No.
 
 

Pain matters.

 
 
Forgetting the pain my family and I have gone through would also erase the good that has come from it.
 

  • More conversations about feelings and long-standing issues with low self-worth.
  • Healthy boundaries.
  • New directions for our family.
  • A simple life that treasures even the little things.
  • Courage to protect myself and my loved ones.
  • Restored relationships with estranged family members.
  • Right priorities.
  • Tighter family relationships.
  • Renewed importance of the fragility of life.
  • Better listening skills.
  • Learning about each others’ lives–things we didn’t know about each other that we will carry with us for years to come.
  • Giving and receiving advice across generations.

 
 
Who knew that negative situations could produce such positive change? And this is just a short list of good coming from bad! There were plenty of good things in our lives last year. That’s an entirely different list of God’s blessings. Should I forget it all–2014?
 
 
When we “forgive and forget,” we essentially tell God our pain is better left in the past. Nothing good has come from it. I am where I am today by my own merit, not anything God has done.
 
 
“Forgive and forget” is an affront to the sovereignty of God who turns evil into good (Genesis 50:20, Romans 8:28).
 
 

Pain is important to forgive. It’s also important to remember.

 
 
forgiveremember2“Forgive and remember” until you can do so without an inkling of anger, bitterness, or revenge. That, my friend, is healing. “Forgive and remember” speaks hope: Look what God did for me in this situation. He can do the same for you. That’s the power of remembering. That’s the hope you can share with others. “Forgive and forget” lacks hope. It has nothing to offer anyone. Your pain is in vain.
 
 
My pain is not in vain. God has brought much good from it–and I know He will continue to do so. This is the hope I offer you: God can bring good from whatever wrong was committed against you or whatever hurtful thing was said about you.
 
 
Forgive and remember.
 
 

 
All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel!
 
He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
 

 
 
 
Come alongside… Do you agree that you shouldn’t forget the wrongs committed against you? Why or why not? What have you been trying to forget that you need to remember? Please comment in the box below. Remember, you can comment anonymously.
 
 
 


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Forgive and forget? Not really. (Part 1)

 
Hi, friends!
 
forgiveforgetrev1
Do you “forgive and forget?”
 
 
Lately, I keep seeing and hearing people tell each other to “forgive and forget” wrongs others have committed against them. Although I’ve heard that saying since I was a wee one, the more I hear it, the more I don’t agree with it. Well, part of it, anyway.
 
 

Should I forgive? Absolutely!

Choosing to forgive doesn’t mean the other person did nothing wrong. On the contrary! It means yes, he–or she–wronged you in one way or another. When you forgive, you acknowledge that someone did hurt you.

  • They lied about you.
  • They abused you.
  • They took you for granted.
  • They ignored you.

 
Forgiveness says…
 
 

“You hurt me!”

 
 
But forgiveness goes further. It also says…
 
 

“I’m not going to hurt you back.”

 
 
When you forgive someone, you tell yourself, “I won’t let what so-and-so did fester. I won’t let myself get bitter. I won’t let myself take revenge. (Yes, revenge includes giving them the silent treatment.)”
 

Don’t pay back evil with evil. (Romans 12:17)
 

 
Forgiveness says you have suffered from someone’s words or actions. It doesn’t mean you deny or diminish what you’re feeling:
 

  • “Oh, it’s okay.”
  • “It’s no big deal.”
  • “I’ll get over it.”
  • “Whatever.”

 
Forgiveness says, “Oh, I feel it… Every. Single. Day. But today–for this moment, I will not get them back. I will feel all of this pain. I will cry, I will kick, I will scream. And when I’m done, I’ll be a little more free.” Yes, free!
 
Our hurts are alive. We can’t bury them. They need to come out one way or another; that’s why God tells us not to ignore them.
 

My people are broken – shattered! – and they put on band-aids, Saying, ‘It’s not so bad. You’ll be just fine.’ But things are not ‘just fine’! (Jeremiah 6:14)
 

 
When you let out your hurts, when you thrust them up to God, you move one step closer to being released from the burden of that pain. Forgiveness makes that happen. Forgiveness helps you to process those feelings for however long it takes. And yes, sometimes, forgiveness takes a long time; it doesn’t all happen at once. But when it does–when forgiveness is complete, after umpteen times of crying, kicking, screaming, praying to God, you’ll suddenly realize…
 
 

“Hey, it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as it did before.”

 
 
That’s what forgiveness does. That’s what God wants for us all. That’s what He wants for you.
 
 
 
 
So… yes, I agree with the “Forgive” part of “Forgive and forget.” But do I agree with the “and forget” part? I’ll address that in my next post. In the meantime…
 
 
 
Come alongside… Do you have someone to forgive? Will you? Why or why not? Please comment in the box below. Remember, you can comment anonymously.
 
 
 


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The Five Languages of Apology (Audible Audio Edition)


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Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Life is Good, Positive Promotions, BloomThat, CesarsWay, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like DaphneWrites.com to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.

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