Throughout history people have tried to be like God. Some have falsely abused power, wielding it over others, as if they knew the first thing about God and how He works…instilling fear to gain followers or a false sense of admiration or respect.
Others have set up behavioral patterns, as well as religious observances, many with beautiful, reverent intention, some practicing with their entire hearts, others unknowingly demystifying the divine in the minutiae of rote repetition.
Some have shaken, pointed, even flipped fingers with a mistaken sense of entitlement, using God’s name in ignorance of what godliness really looks like…using God’s name in vain, actually, if one were to interpret scripture properly.
And there are those who try to act godly. We try to love others, share, treat people the way we want to be treated. Until someone crosses us, of course. Almost as if our behavior was all just an act. After offense, horrid betrayal, slight of integrity, unkind words spoken our way, whatever the sin directly or indirectly presented our way, it’s up to us whether godliness is simply an act or actual way of life.
We have two choices. Will we put one more brick on the wall we erect to “protect” our hearts, so no one ever hurts us again? Or, will we experience something transcendent and divine?
This morning after reading John 3 and 4, and a nugget from Lucille Zimmerman’s book, “Renewed,” while I danced all crazy-like around the kitchen with Ryan on my shoulders, (song here…, crank it up, baby!) without a care in the world of whether neighbors could see through the windows or not, the song faded out and one about forgiveness began to play.
And all of a sudden a thought occurred to me: one of the first moments of godly transformation on this earth, in this temporary life, where we get to feel what it’s like to be God-like or godly, a split second unable to be measured because of the infinite ripple effects which occur within us, is when we say to another, “I forgive you.”
Three other words are also transcendent: I love you. Of course, to love another is to experience God tangibly because it’s our first experience with selflessness.
But three other words, “I forgive you,” will change us almost inexplicably, because it’s in the moment when we forgive another where we extend to one of God’s creation the very selfless act which was freely offered to us in Jesus Christ on the cross.
Imagine a New Year where the extra weight you’ve been carrying for years is finally gone! FOREVER!
The weight comes off, the burden lifted by THREE WORDS: I forgive you.
If your resolution this year is to lose fat, I wish you the best on your journey. Stop eating sugar and your allergens, drink tons of water, and get active, do Yoga, and start lifting heavy things.
If you are interested in losing weight, however, start with offering others the gift of forgiveness. You’ll be blown away at how good forgiveness feels!