Saturday, June 2nd, 2012
Thoughts Become Actions, BUT... (Part 3, Conclusion)
Then Peter came to Him and said, 'Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?'
Matthew 18:21 (NKJV)
If our thoughts become words and words become actions, then our thoughts determine the destinies of our lives. Positive thoughts bring blessings and health. But what about angry thoughts? How do we move beyond bitterness toward an evildoer for inarguable wrongs?
The Apostle Paul tells us to 'Bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ' (2 Corinthians 10:5).
But what if we can't 'think ourselves' into forgiveness and love? Move on to steps two and three: say something positive and do something positive. God's blessings will come. Right actions push the restart button that transforms bad thoughts into good ones. It's illogical brilliance.
God says, 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts' (Isaiah 55:9). Our short-sighted thinking cannot compare to God's long-range wisdom.
Therefore, if you're tormented over an injustice, consider this action plan:
1) Go to a quiet place and pour out your pain to God. Tell Him everything. He knows anyway. Confess your anger. He can handle it. Then, ask Him to forgive your self-pity, bad thoughts, despairing words, or vengeful deeds. Remember how Jesus suffered for us and forgave us everything.
2) Ask God for super-human strength, because you will need it, and He has it to give.
3) Act out of character. Do something positive for the very one who tormented you. God will tell you what to do. If you can't help him, help his family (like David for Mephibosheth); 'Now David said, 'Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?' ' (2 Samuel 9:1). Instead of 'Jonathan,' substitute the Name, 'Jesus.'
'If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the Lord will reward you' (Proverbs 25:21-22). Coals of fire can ignite a life-changing transformation, because the Holy Spirit is described as a fire.
You will be saved from your pain, and your tormenter may be saved as well.
'For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth' (1 Timothy 2:3-4).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Thoughts Become Actions series.