powerTool

Here are three powerful tools everyone can use to help establish a steady footing in life: Forgiveness, gratitude, and honour. Each of these can be practised, or neglected, independently. Yet they are synergistic when combined. A three-fold cord is not easily broken.

Even though all of these are taught in the Bible, not every Christian has learned them. Wouldn’t it be a shame for us to neglect these powerful precepts, while some outside the household of faith have discovered these marvels, and are reaping the benefits?

Forgiveness

Forgiveness for every wrong, is so powerful, that this alone will make a huge difference in one’s life.

We are not talking about making up excuses for what people have done. We are not talking about letting criminals go without justice. We are not talking about walking up to each person who has wronged you and saying, “I forgive you.” We are talking about forsaking hatred, bitterness, and anger.

This is a daily endeavour. If you forsake these for this moment, they can all come back tomorrow, or sooner.

Anger has its place, when we are confronted with some grave injustice. But, this emotion does not serve us well in combating injustice. Forgiveness allows our efforts to be employed more effectively, since anger is no longer clouding our vision.

Then there is bitterness. This is completely futile. Bitterness is like ingesting rat poison and waiting for the rat to die. Yes, this person messed up your life in the past. Are you now going to let them mess up your future as well, through bitterness? Forgiveness is for your sake, not theirs. You can have your life back, instead of letting them keep it. Bitterness causes illness, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Forgiveness gives you the freedom and liberty you need to progress toward healing.

Hatred is God’s domain, not man’s. Romans 12:19 “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the LORD.” You can omit hatred from your life, and leave that burden on the LORD. It will weigh you down. You cannot carry it, without injury.

Matthew 5:43-44
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Galatians 5:16,19-25
16 [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these;] Adultery, fornication, … hatred, … drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

When we walk in the Spirit, we can respond in forgiveness, instead of hatred, towards those who have hurt us.

Treat each person with loving kindness. The way you would treat them if you were wanting to draw them to your side. As if you want them to join your team, so the animosity can be put behind us. We will not win anyone over, if all they see is this misplaced wrath, whenever we encounter them. They will feel justified in continuing the strife because, surely, we must be surly, base, and just plain mean; that is all they can see. Meet your enemies, on the battlefield, from higher ground.

Those of us who are Christians, will find it easier to forgive others for every wrong, because we have been forgiven. Even God’s final judgment is ordained for the time of death. Who are we to forsake such godly love in condemning any living soul? Our love will result in forgiveness.

Gratitude

Gratitude for your blessings, is so powerful, that this alone will make a huge difference in one’s life.

Start looking for all of the good in life, and you will find it. Find something to appreciate about each day and each person. Search for the common ground between you and each person with whom you communicate, whether friend or foe. We have had enough practise in finding faults, errors, evils, and disagreements. We can short circuit the vicious cycle of attack, defensiveness, and retaliation.

Instead of regretting the past, be grateful for lessons instead. Just think, if you have a regret, then you learned a lesson. If you did not learn that lesson when you did, then you would have continued longer down the wrong path. You can’t learn everything at once. Learning takes time, not only to take in and process the information, but also to prepare your mind to receive the instruction. Sometimes we have a bias that needs to be disassembled first, before we can even see the truth. We said “sometimes,” but maybe we should have said “usually.”

Gratitude is the source of happiness, and happiness is the source of success.

Those of us who are born again, will find it easier to show gratitude for our blessings, because we know the Giver, and we love Him. Our love will result in gratitude.

Honour

Honour for your fellow man, is so powerful, that this alone will make a huge difference in one’s life.

Respect for others, just because they are human, is a strong basis for seeing the value of each person. Humility, instead of arrogance, when working with others, will bring out the best in both of us. When we value the contributions of each member, the team can reach its optimum. There are many differences between individual people, and those differences can contribute to a better outcome, if we can see past our prejudices.

Those of us who drink of the water of life, will find it easier to honour our fellow man, because we know that each person is made in God’s image. We know that Christ died for this person. God loves them, so we can love them. Our love will result in honour.

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