“Confession breaks the cycle of chaos inside of me. Forgiveness breaks the cycle of chaos between us.”- Lysa TerKeurst
As Lysa TerKeurst concludes Chapter 14 of Forgiving What We Can’t Forget, she examines the differences between feeling and living. Specifically, Lysa lists feeling versus living – angry, offended, skeptical, wronged, resentful.
Certainly, Jesus knew we’d express all these feelings. Because we run into so much unpredictability in our circumstances, relationships, and even our emotions. So, Jesus taught us a prayer to pray each day. Hence, with confession and forgiveness, that gives us a head start on what we face today. Of course, we’ll fail to do this perfectly. But, Lysa stresses, we still need to try.
Above all, we must not expect a perfection in others that we aren’t capable of living out ourselves. Thus, we all need grace for our very human tendencies. Furthermore, Lysa counsels, the best time to forgive come before any offense ever occurs. And the next best time to forgive? Right now! Lysa describes this as the good work of maturing. She adds:
“Maturity isn’t the absence of hard stuff. Maturity is the evidence that a person allowed the hard stuff to work for them rather than against them.”
However, Lysa notes, much of the time we only focus on what hardships take from us. In contrast, maturity helps us:
- see how hardships can add what’s missing in our development
- become more self-aware
- process with healthier perspectives
- set up for healthier relationships
- develop a depth of empathy for others and a patience for imperfection that’s less likely to get so easily offended
Finally, Lysa details the best response to a hurtful comment or action:
“If pain got them into this place, more pain heaped on them will never help them get out of it. Having compassion for their loss and grace for their pain doesn’t validate what they say. It just honors the reality that they are more than their hurtful comment. And you might be the only one in their life right now who has the chance to help and the courage to care.”
Today’s question: Do you agree with Lysa that confession breaks the cycle of chaos inside of you? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The very cornerstone of the Christian faith”