As we approach the end of yet another year, many find themselves reflecting on days gone by. So often the reflection focuses on what went wrong in our lives and the dreadfulness that takes place in the world in which we exist. As the New Year approaches, let’s also meditate on the positive aspects of life, to appreciate what is good in all of us and to be eternally grateful for our many blessings. The following devotions may serve to uplift, to inspire and to guide you in a positive direction as you embrace the holiday season and move toward the arrival of the year 2013.
Forgiveness – It has been revealed that someone believed to be a friend has betrayed your trust. You are hurt, wounded and troubled as to why this person whom you trusted could let you down in such a manner. A natural reaction is to condemn them verbally for such irresponsible behavior. But hold on to your tongue. Take the issue up in prayer. You should confront the matter from a position of peace and understanding. If that person expresses sorrow and repents for what has been done, you should be willing to forgive them without thought. Never withhold forgiveness.
Do Not Let Anger Take Control and be Disruptive to Your Life – Childhood wounds can sometimes haunt a person throughout one’s life. No matter who inflicted the pain, you must learn through commitment to prayer to forgive and move forward in life. Living in anger and fury can have a very negative impact on the way we act, think and feel. It’s as disruptive as a ticking time bomb, ready to explode at any moment. We should strive to end each day with a calm heart. We cannot dwell on feelings of rage. We must instead surrender our problems in prayer.
Love isn’t Always Shared – You or someone you know is going through a divorce. Unfortunately, the divorce proceedings are not going well and feelings of disgust and detestation are expressed on both sides. How can two people who once proclaimed love for one another now have feelings of hatred? Hate is such a harsh word. Just the thought of someone having such feelings toward another person can be very unsettling. But reality dictates just as people love, people have the propensity to hate whether it is warranted or not. The call is to be devoted to the act of love even if we perceive the feelings are not reciprocated. We must remain loyal to the goal of peace. With this in mind, we must do our best to love those who despise us just as we do those who revere us.
Stop, Look, Listen Before you React – On any given day, we are often tempted to react to matters that we perceive to be demeaning actions imposed upon us by others. So whether it is the man who wouldn’t let your car merge into the lane when he clearly saw you waiting or the unkind receptionist at the doctor’s office or your mate who didn’t pick up the order from the dry cleaners, or your child who forgot to do her homework, the list goes on and on. The challenge is to stop, look, listen before you react. As the saying goes, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” We must do our best to overlook insignificant matters that have the potential to turn into heated disputes. In the long run, many matters should and can be left unsaid.
The final devotion is simply called, Patience. We live in an “instant” society—a world where we want things right away. We purchase food from a fast food restaurant, we make financial transactions from drive through banks, and we can even heat up an entire meal for dinner by placing it in a microwave oven. Is that why patience is becoming a lost virtue? In our haste, we oftentimes make the same mistakes over and over again and yet we still receive the love, patience and comfort of forgiveness from the Heavenly Father. Therefore, if we are extended patience, we should make it a point to demonstrate patience and comfort to others in spite of this “instant” world in which we live.
Ellen Goodman once said, “We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.”http://www.successories.com/iquote/author/2374/ellen-goodman-quotes/1
Please take time out to smell the roses. Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a successful New Year!