As June Hunt continues Chapter 7 of How to Forgive, she notes that because negative thoughts are a natural response to someone wounding us, often we aren’t aware our minds are gravitating to negativity. Ms. Hunt states the first step to gaining control over negative thoughts is noticing where they habitually take us. June describes three mental habits that can trap you.
1. You continually relive the offense. You replay the offense in your mind over and over- in slow motion and high definition! June explains:
“We dwell on every detail; we inspect every stone of strife; we scrutinize every rock of cruelty; we even probe every pebble of apathy.”
Continually refreshing our wounding makes forgiving difficult.
2. You imagine getting revenge. Fantasizing ways to get back at those who hurt you may become a dark pleasure. June notes that a team of psychologists who studied revenge discovered that fantasies of revenge inspire anger. Anger, in turn, makes us feel more powerful. Our self-esteem appears to rise as we lower the esteem in which we hold our offender. It’s merely a mirage.
3. You want bad things to befall your offender. Even if you don’t go so far as to exact revenge on your wounder, an unforgiving heart resents any success experienced by the offender and delights in any failure. But Proverbs 24:17 tells us:
“Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice.”
When a catastrophic crisis hits, it feels like a massive meteorite has crashed down on us. We ask God why He would allow this to happen or why He didn’t protect us. Under such pressure, our faith can crumble or collapse- or it can grow strong and secure as we trust in God. June encourages:
” . . . you need to rest that crushing meteorite before the throne of God, along with all your questions and megapain. Only then will you experience His megapeace; only then will you feel His megacomfort.”
Today’s question: Following your vocation loss, have you found your mid gravitating to negativity? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “A great and difficult task”