Posted by: kathyhugs | December 12, 2009

Grief Giver or Grace Giver? Finding Joy in my Beliefs

A dear friend of mine wrote about her reactions to a chapter in a book she is reading. It was a great reminder to me.

Her comments: A grief giver is someone who, whether it be on purpose or unintentional, causes grief to someone else. A grief giver can be someone who has done something terrible to you and leaves you with a desire for vengeance. First of all, vengeance fixes your attention on life’s ugliest moments. Many times David could have taken Saul’s life but instead he said, “God put your life in my hands today, but I wasn’t willing to lift a finger against God’s anointed.”David portrayed a God saturated mind. Once again we think about the purveyors of pain in our own lives. It’s one thing to give grace to our friends, but to give grace to those who give us grief? Could you? Given a few uninterrupted moments with the Darth Vader of your days, could you imitate David? Perhaps you could. Some people seem graced with mercy glands. They secrete forgiveness never harboring grudges or reciting their hurts. Others of us (we are all guilty) at times find it hard to forgive our Saul’s. So many of us, have people who hurt us deeply, and there are times we feel urged to ‘settle the score’ or hurt back. Score-settling freezes your stare at cruel events in your past. Is this where you want to look? Will rehearsing and reliving your hurts make you a better person? By no means, it will destroy you.

James MacDonald wrote in his blog:  God does allow bad things to happen to good people. He doesn’t cause them, but He doesn’t prevent them either. The world is free and God doesn’t very often step in and alter the fact that the effects of sin are visiting themselves randomly upon the creation. So God lets trials happen to the Christian just like He lets them happen to the pagans so that the superiority of the life lived in God can be demonstrated through our lives. The majority of the world is choosing not to worship God, but a few of us, by God’s grace, can draw down upon God’s promised resources to get us through.

Why am I sharing these things with you? I have discovered that after the “high” of an event like last weekend I often find myself in the pits.  When this happens I can unintentionally become a “grief giver” to those around me and also to myself. I second guess my responses and reactions. I get cranky and crabby.  I don’t like myself very much at these times. So I have a choice to make: I can continue focusing inward or I can make a choice to turn my eyes to God.  My joy can’t come from the things in my life or the emotions of the moment but only from the joy that I have from having God in my life.  Greg Wright is a pastor in Hartville, TN and he preached a sermon on December 7, 2008 entitled “Fighting for Joy During the Holiday Season By Seeking, Believing, and Remembering Jesus”.  Knowing God, truly knowing God is to know grace and mercy and love. The moment I accepted God into my life I received the gift of the Holy Spirit and the gift of Scripture. This is where I have to begin. My emotions are like a roller coaster, up and down and topsy turvy! I don’t like roller coasters! But I can choose to ride the roller coaster or I can choose to stay off of it. My emotions are a bit different. They happen. A song, a story, a movie and I turn into a crying mess or an out of control giggle monster! Or a weekend like last weekend touches my heart and my heart drops into despair at the events that have occured in my life. But my emotions Do Not define my beliefs and I need to hold onto my beliefs and make a choice about my response to my emotions. My beliefs are truth! The belief that God is a loving, compassionate Savior who understands my hurts and wants to comfort me. The belief that God is never changing. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. The belief that Jesus died FOR Me. He gave me the gift of mercy. The belief that God can and will turn evil into something wonderful! This is where the Joy comes from. The belief that God is here with me, He loves me, He promises never to leave me or forsake me.

So I have a choice to be a Grief Giver or a Grace Giver, to others as well as to myself. A grace giver is first a grace receiver who has accepted the gift of grace from God. But then that grace is given away. It is amazing to me what happens next. Joy blooms in my heart and a light goes on inside of me. My emotions respond. A smile replaces the frown. My steps become lively and a song jumps out of my lips. God has taken up residence in my heart.

I choose God!  Merry Christmas from all of us to you and your family! We love you!

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