stop the cycle

Posted: July 16th, 2012 | Filed under: life | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

So many have been hurt by people who call themselves Christians.  Whatever the reason, or circumstance, wrong was done to repay wrong done and the cycle goes on and on and on. Slander follows slander. Lies fuel bitter retribution. Don’t you want the cycle to stop?

They used to go in and out of the holy place and were praised in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity. -Ecclesiastes 8:10

How is it that the prideful and self-righteous can sit through a time of worship and not hear the call to love and forgive and restore? How can they preach the Gospel to some and withhold it from others? You see them unbothered by losing you. You hear of them using you and your failure in messages while not including your salvation. You are always lost to them and that fuels their pride. They get pats on the back for their message at your expense. Where is God, to them, while He is holding you? How can God be with them and you at the same time? That is the type of question that can fuel your pride, too.

It’s a trap.

The slow hand of God to right the wrongs can send you in one of two directions. You know who your God is by where this injustice sends you. Are you patient, putting your trust in God? Do you believe that you’re forgiven and loved in spite of their opinions? Or do you fight to show them their wrongs and refuse to move forward on your own? Are you stuck in the filth they refuse to wash off? When someone gets honor for bearing your sin and you get slandered for being a sinner, does it set your pride on fire?

You have to watch out.

Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil. -Ecclesiastes 8:11

God was patient with you while you were making your terrible choices. He didn’t give up on you while you turned your back to Him. Jesus didn’t come back while you were in the wrong bed.

Don’t wish that, which you were spared, to be poured over another.

God gave you time to come around. And here you are. God is giving them time to do the same. Have the same patience with them that He had with you. It may take a long time. Much longer than you took, in some cases. Hope for their day like you had yours. Hope and don’t give up. Move forward with your new life and let them go at their own pace. Nothing they say can put a price on your head. You are not the hunted. Your “WANTED” posters are out of date and faded. You have been pardoned. Sentence served by Jesus.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. -2 Peter 3:8-9

Look at your own failure and what it taught you: A lesson in grace you could have learned no other way. Give them the time to learn the same lesson. Pride is a hidden sin that is hard to nail down on their own. They may not see it for a long time. Your sin was easier to see. It was messy and blatant.

It’s easy to see where you are and where others are not, but it wasn’t that long ago that you were where they are. You learned your lesson and learned it hard. Don’t be so quick to forget what it was like to not know how wrong you were.

“Someone will say what is lost can never be saved. Despite all my rage…” -Smashing Pumpkins, “Rat in a Cage”

Let the cycle stop with you. Until then, you’re just a rat in their cage.


6 Comments on “stop the cycle”

  1. 1 Julie R. said at 9:51 am on July 16th, 2012:

    This is where I struggle most in my life. Every time I am faced with the hurtful things said and done by other Christians, I scream inside for a justice that I am still waiting for. Every time, i have to ask God to remind me that His grace not only covers me, but covers them. No matter how often I am told I am unlovable, unforgivable, and un-savable, Those are lies the devil tells them and they deliver to me and others like me. Forgiving them takes away the devils power… Thats the key. Forgiveness is the key to unlocking the cage. Some of us just keep going back to the cage and have to keep using the key.

  2. 2 serenawoods said at 8:02 pm on July 16th, 2012:

    I think of your situation often, Julie. At least you know the truth.
    And you know what the Bible says about the truth… 🙂

  3. 3 Jeremy said at 10:22 am on July 16th, 2012:

    Wow, Serena, this entry is really amazing…I have been here so many times before. The thing I find is that when I'm in a place of constantly wanting grace from others I create huge desperation in my own heart. This desperation makes me feel weak…I walk with an invisible weight on my chest that grows in intensity. Eventually my desperation turns into anger and by that point I have a hard time accepting this persons grace if they finally give it to me…I become very irrational about it. I have to understand that grace is not something I have earned…and I have to be more patient.
    My recent post the heart of the matter….

  4. 4 serenawoods said at 8:03 pm on July 16th, 2012:

    It's a terrible cycle to be in, for sure. Thanks for posting your thoughts. 🙂

  5. 5 exegete77 said at 10:29 am on July 16th, 2012:

    I find that such situations scream at me to “justify” myself, to them, to the world, maybe even to God, and most of all to myself. But when I realize that God’s justice has been served for me, by Jesus enduring the insults and mocking for me (1 Peter 2:21-25), and now in justice God declares me just/righteous. It is humbling to live in grace, that free declaration. Why do I fight it so hard at times? That battle of the flesh still rages (Romans 7:13-25).Your reminder is excellent: “Do you believe that you’re forgiven and loved in spite of their opinions?“

    I am also reminded of Galatians 6:1 “Brothers and sisters, if a person gets trapped by wrongdoing, those of you who are spiritual should help that person turn away from doing wrong. Do it in a gentle way. At the same time watch yourself so that you also are not tempted.” (GW)

    Very important words you have written, Serena. The Church in its broadest terms needs to hear this. Thank you.

    My recent post General Observations of Four Translations

  6. 6 serenawoods said at 8:03 pm on July 16th, 2012:

    Here's to spreading the word, Rich. 🙂

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