At the get go, this blog is neither a proposal nor a persuasion to vote for Donald Trump. This blog is so much bigger than voting for him! This blog will challenge you to be the better person in this presidential race and all of your life. If you know how to respond to Donald Trump’s apology for his shameful words spoken about women 11 years ago, then you have learned a practice that will free you from all offenses in your life.
We can all guarantee that offenses will come our way. They are a sure experience! We can count on being insulted, hurt, humiliated, embarrassed and angered by the words and actions of another person. They may come from someone we love, hate, dislike, or even someone we barely know.
When this happens to us, what do we do? How do we respond?
I have read women’s responses of anger and hurt to Donald Trump’s offensive words. And certainly, their response is understandable; I do not challenge their feelings. Donald’ Trump’s words were insensitive, immature, and foolish. They have also conjured up memories of past abuse for these women.
The challenge though is this: I would encourage those who are lashing out against Trump to consider that their past experiences of abuse are not his fault. We can easily displace our anger. Sigmund Freud, an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, calls this displacement anger. To displace our anger is to throw all of our wrath and pain from past abuse along with the current words of Trump and set it all on him. We do this unconsciously as we shift blame from our mind onto a new aim or a new object as a way to cope with the pain we are still suffering.
Hear me! There is nothing wrong with being angry and incensed with the words Trump spoke 11 years ago. We should be angry. They were degrading. They dishonored women and their Creator; after all women (and men) are created in God’s Image. Anger in itself is not a sin. To be angry at sin is called righteous anger. However, to be angry with sin is wrong. Ladies, I implore you to consider that casting all the blame for our every hurt and pain we’ve incurred from men onto Trump would be a mistake.
Righteous anger does not displace its wrath. Anger deals with the sin at hand, instead of all the offenses that have happened over our lifespan. When we deal with the sin at hand, we compose ourselves and are rational with the truth. We consider the situation, the context, and the reasons behind the offense. When we do this, we position ourselves to follow the command Jesus gives us when offenses come.
Take a look at Jesus’ words in Luke 17:1-5, “Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Offenses will certainly come, but woe to the one they come through! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble.’”
I can almost hear it: “Yes! Throw Trump into the sea with a millstone wrapped around his neck!” I get you! I really do! You would be in the right to say something like that. Obviously, Jesus would agree, too. But hold on, Jesus did not stop there! While Jesus does not argue with you about how you feel or that the offender deserves punishment, He challenges His disciples and us:
“Be on your guard. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and comes back to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
Jesus does not dismiss your anger, but He does not want you to remain there. If you do, your anger will only infect you and those in your influence. They won’t infect Trump nor throw him into the sea. While he deserves punishment, Jesus challenges you and me to forgive him.
You see, Donald Trump did repent: Trump’s Apology.
Jesus has challenged us to forgive him. You might be thinking, “But I don’t trust that his apology was sincere.” I get that. But Jesus didn’t say, “trust him,” He said, “forgive him.” And not only once but seven times in a day, which indicates that the person repenting will not be sincere with one of those apologies, and probably not trustworthy for another, or simply will fall short of perfection.
Nonetheless, Jesus still challenges us to forgive him!
One of the hardest things to do for the people of this culture (including Christians) is holding onto grace. Grace forgives someone who doesn’t deserve it. Grace is what Jesus did for you and me on the cross. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).
Notice the phrase “while we were still sinners”; in other words, long before repentance came, Jesus still died for you and me making way for grace – forgiveness undeserved!
Just as He has forgiven you and me, we are challenged to forgive others with the same grace He has shown us.
I can hear you say, “This is impossible!” I agree!
And the disciples would have agreed with you, too. You can see their incredulous response in verse 5: “The apostles (disciples) said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!” They knew all too well that it would take faith more than it would take will power to forgive those who had offended them. It will also take faith for you and me to forgive Trump and anyone else in our life that has hurt us with their actions and their words.
You and I are never going to be able to forgive Trump or anyone else without the power of God working through us to do so. It will be Him alone working through us to make this possible.
But we are given two things to do: obey and have faith to follow through.
We have to submit to Jesus’ words to forgive. Most times our forgiveness will not be a feeling; it will be a decision to obey first. In some cases, feelings come after that obedience; in others, depending on the depravity of our situation, feelings may never come, but the peace of God does.
You can have peace knowing three things:
1.) God loves you! “A new command I give you: Love one another; As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).
2.) God will fight for you! “The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm” (Exodus 14:14).
3.) God can do the impossible; His Kingdom will never be shaken! “We belong to a higher kingdom than this world. And “since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us hold on to grace. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe!” (Hebrews 12:28).
When we choose to forgive others, we gain a holy perspective. We understand the why behind loving God and loving people. Suddenly, our hearts become clay for God to form in His heart’s image. When He hurts, we hurt. When He loves, we love. When He forgives, we forgive. When no one else will follow this pattern of holding onto grace, we do it regardless; because suddenly our God is bigger than our pain and bigger than the offenses we encounter.
#chooseforgivness #findpeace #setyourheartfree