“We all have a Buster. Or two or ten. . . . Maybe you’ve moved on. If not, a question needs to be raised regarding your happiness. Resentment sucks satisfaction from the soul. Bitterness consumes it. Revenge is a monster with a monstrous appetite. . . . Left unchecked, grudges send us on a downward spiral. Your Buster took much. Are you going to let him take even more? Brood at your own risk.”- Max Lucado
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”- Ephesians 4:32
In Chapter 10 (“You’ve Been Bustered”) of How Happiness Happens, Max Lucado observes that we’ve all been Bustered. Yet, donning a sour and dour attitude fails to improve one’s quality of life. But, as some embark on the path of forgiveness, they perceive that it’s impossibly steep. As a result, they abandon the path.
Above all, the phrase forgive and forget does not apply! Because, Pastor Lucado stresses, it sets an unreachable standard. You can’t compare painful memories to old clothes, Max adds. Painful memories defy easy shedding. Therefore, Max offers his definition of forgiveness:
“Forgiveness is simply the act of changing your attitude toward the offender; it’s moving from a desire to harm toward an openness to be at peace. A step in the direction of forgivensss is a decisive step toward happiness.”
Furthermore, when Duke University researchers listed eight factors that promote emotional stability, four related to forgiveness:
- Avoiding suspicion and resentment.
- Not living in the past.
- Not wasting time and energy fighting unchangeable conditions.
- Refusing to engage in self-pity when handed a raw deal.
In conclusion, Max talks about Ephesians 4:32. He underscores that the apostle Paul didn’t say to forgive one another:
- as your conscience dictates
- to the degree you feel comfortable
- as much as makes common sense
Instead, Paul used Jesus as our standard – forgive others as Christ forgave you.
Today’s question: How do you respond to the Busters in your life? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: the March Short Meditation – “When the whole world walks away – God stays”