This will be a thinking column. After you think and make some decisions and choices, you have the power to make positive changes in your life.
Today we are going to talk about the subject of forgiveness. Why is this such an important subject? Well, most of us say "The Lord's Prayer." It's the only prayer Jesus gave us. In it, He says, "And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others who trespass against us." The key word is "as" meaning "in direct proportion to." In other words, if we don't forgive others, we cannot receive forgiveness for ourselves. It's only fair and it's a principle we can't overlook.
Now, what kinds of trespasses are we even talking about? Let's think about some of the unkind things we have done to others. We have talked about them. This is gossip. We have repeated things we have heard, and we have passed it on without checking it out first. Even if it is true, we don't have to pass it on. How many times do we bring up someone's past, things that occurred many years ago that were damaging information? Who needs to know? Let's let sleeping dogs lie! Have we criticized people for the way they dress or style their hair or anything that pertains to their appearance? That's none of our business. Have we criticized the appearance of their houses on the outside and the condition of the house on the inside? Really, is this necessary? Who cares? Who needs to know?
All of this comes under the heading of gossip. Why do we treat this bad habit so lightly? Jesus calls it a sin. Therefore, it's bad and it's important. How do we apologize and change our ways? You might say something like, "I owe you an apology. We don't always see things the same, but that's OK. We should have the freedom to do things our own way. I'm apologizing for two reasons. First, because I value your friendship and secondly, because I want to like myself. I know you don't always agree with me and criticize me. I forgave you. Please forgive me, and we can have a stronger relationship. What do you say?"
Relationships are so important. Isn't it necessary to keep and strengthen the ones we have?
Now we come to another kind of forgiveness. That is being able to forgive ourselves? How many times have we said, "I've never forgiven myself for that." Now let's take a realistic approach to this subject.
Jesus tells us there is no sin so bad that it cannot be forgiven. Now if He forgives, who are we not to forgive? Let's look at this very carefully. Now if Jesus forgives this one situation and we don't, what are we saying? Are we putting our thoughts and values above His thoughts and values? Who do we think we are? What kind of arrogance is this? Did you think it was humility? Was it? Can you see it now in a different light? Shed it off your shoulders and feel free. Isn't it great?
Here we go back to the column I wrote months ago about the fact that we can't control the physical, like who are parents are, where we are born, what we'll like, et cetera, but we have the power to make decisions. That pertains to the mind, the heart, the soul and our emotions. So here we are again to the good point of our lives. I am so grateful. Are you? Exercise your power of the mind and have a happy life. Remember, forgive yourself and forgive others.
Now we're going to end on a comical note. Many times readers ask me, "Where do you get your ideas?" Well, I read, I listen and whenever I come across something of interest or comical, I cut it out and make a note. Then I throw it into a big card marked, "For future columns." I'll never run out. I want to finish up the last page of funny stories.
My niece and nephew had a neighbor who kept them laughing. For example, one day his son flushed his undershirt down the toilet. He thought maybe the shirt had not gone down too far and he might be able to retrieve it with a fishing pole. He tried it and started casting. Just at that time, his neighbor walked in. She looked at him with unbelieving eyes. He looked calmly at her and said, "You should have seen the big one I caught last night!"
This same man was having trouble with a neighbor's barking dog. His neighbor insisted on leaving the dog out at night. One night, it got so bad that it was 3 a.m., and the dog was still awake. He got up and dialed the neighbor's number. When someone picked up the phone, he started barking. End of story. Mission accomplished.
How would you relate to these doctor's names? 1. If you are pregnant, you might like Dr. Seaman. 2. If you are looking for a psychologist, would you make an appointment with Dr. Nutt? 3. A new clinic just opened up. The doctors in charge are Dr. Kildare, Dr. Berry and Dr. Graves. I wonder why business is so bad! On the other hand, there is a team of Dr. Price and Dr. Wright. Business is booming.
Here's a related story. Not too long ago, I had a bladder infection that was driving me crazy. I called my doctor. His receptionist answered and said, "Hold on please."
"Lady, if I could hold on, I wouldn't be calling you!"
I was thinking about some ways you can answer the question, "How are you?" 1. Ask my doctor. 2. As if you care. 3. I don't want to talk about it. 4. You should have asked me yesterday. 5. How much time do you have? 6. Now, if I tell you, will you want equal time?
Maybe you have some good thoughts on this subject. The more the merrier.
Margaret Valone is a Fredonia resident. Send comments on this column to firstname.lastname@example.org