Thursday, May 10, 2007

Don't Ever Quit

2 Timothy 4
1-2 I can't impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don't ever quit. Just keep it simple.

Have you ever said something that you really thought you were in the right to say and no matter what, we find ways to justify those words that were spoken out of anger and selfishness? Maybe a better way to put it is, have you ever said something that caused separation between you and a friend?

Words can do so much damage to people and relationships. I once heard a preacher say "that’s why God put two gates in front of your tong, your teeth and lips". I have sat in my quite times and often wondered about this friend. God continued to bring him to my mind.
Would our paths cross in life again? Would we ever speak again? Would God be able to restore what I had torn apart? The answer of course is, yes.

I sat this past weekend thinking that I really need to talk to this friend, it was urgent. I prayed several times as we kept missing each other on the phone. Every time my phone rang I wondered if it was him. Finally we were able to talk. We started with the basic hello’s and how are you’s. Then I could hardly wait to get it out. I had to say "I’m sorry, I’m sorry for the words I had spoken, sorry for getting in something that was really not my business to start with. He said with a soft voice "I accept your apology, George. My heart was free, it was as if I had been set free of some type of invisible chains.

But, it was not finished yet, I was reminded that it was good to say I’m sorry but I needed to be forgiven. I then ask him for forgiveness for what I had done. Some would say that saying you are sorry is enough but that was not true in this case. I wanted a fresh start, a clean slate. I did ask for his forgiveness and he graciously said "I do forgive you".

All I want is to be able to see this friend, see him in a light that I once knew. Forgiveness has brought this back. Sometimes we say things that we really don’t mean, sometimes we do things that make no since. We are not perfect but we have the ability to set things right when we know we are wrong.

So, now what? Are there more in my life that I need to right? Without doubt but God will have to go before me and help me. The important thing here is the act of forgiveness.

I know all of us have these situations in our lives and are not always solved with just a call. Again, it was the act of forgiveness that ended up setting me free and restoring a friendship. Will things ever be the same as they once were? I think with this person, they will. With some, things will never be the same.

There is two rules of life that may apply. I have been taught both in my Christian life. One says "to forgive means to forget, so it’s over and we are supposed to forget about it". Two says " to forgive is to let go, never go back to, let God have it all, we will remember but no need to rehash". I think number two is more accurate. We are all human and may never completely forget anything, good or bad. However, we can move on and let Jesus take on what He came to this earth to do, take on our sins.

My question and point for today. How many of us go through life with these wrongs that deep down inside we know we have the ability with the Holy Spirit to try and make right? Have you prayed and ask God to help? Do you have a sincere desire to restore something you have torn apart with words?

Sometimes we end up talking to everyone about a situation except the people who can really change it. That my friend is strife. That’s it isn’t it? Talking to someone who has no ability to change the situation you created. Seeds of strife will only continue to separate and cause destruction. This I learned from a great friend in St. Louis.

The end of verse two is another thing I learned from St. Louis "Don't ever quit". As long as we are breathing there is time to restore, there is time to try and make a wrong a right, there is time to see the Glory of God. Don’t wait, like I did. You have heard the old saying "time heals" haven’t you. Well it doesn’t. It’s God who heals, it’s forgiveness and love that heals. God is time, God is love and He wants us to live in victory.

Thank you friend for your grace and understanding towards me. Thank you for being a friend even when I didn’t deserve it. Thank you for your forgiveness. Timothy was an odd verse for this life story and life lesson but I thought if we really believed that God was looking over our shoulder we may wait just a minute before saying something that will take a month, a year or a life time to set right.

George Beasley

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