May 26, 2011

Are You Holding a Grudge

I recently read passages from The Forgiveness Solutions by Dr. Philllip Friedman. It is a practical book focused on providing the reader with techniques for learning how to forgive those who have disappointed, offended or betrayed you.

Among the numerous stories Friedman offers is one about a client who went to see a therapist about his inability to forgive someone who had injured him. When the session ended, the therapist told his client he should leave the office through one of two white doors.

The client, however, insisted he wanted to leave through a pink door. Despite being told there was no pink door, the client walked to what he believed was a door and crashed into a pink wall.

Finally, the therapist pointed out his client’s problem was like the imaginary door. The client could hold on to his resentments, pain and his grudges and continue to suffer (knock his head against the wall), or he could forgive, let go and seek a better past and future.

One of my favorite bits of advice regarding forgiveness suggests that we should never hold a grudge. While we fret and fume over some disservice done to us, the other person is . . . enjoying a round of golf.

Included In the Lord’s Prayer are the words “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” If you find it difficult to forgive someone, perhaps it’s time to view this phrase as both a command and a prescription from the Master Physician for our emotional well being.

May 2, 2011

The Transforming Power of the Resurrection

Among the many books that defend Christianity and the Resurrection, few are equal to Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell, who was an agnostic before entering college where he set out to write a paper that would discredit those who believe in Jesus Christ.

His plan was to sift through all the available historical evidence, collect his arguments, and ultimately, he believed he would prove that Jesus of Nazareth never existed. At the very least, he hoped to convince himself and others that if Jesus had lived, his bones were in some forgotten grave in Jerusalem.

But something happened along the way. The overwhelming evidence Josh McDowell studied convinced him that Jesus lived, died and was resurrected.

One of the most compelling reasons to believe in the Christian faith is this: Following the crucifixion, the demoralized and terrified disciples huddled together in the Upper Room, fearful that they might also be arrested and executed.

But after Jesus’ Resurrection, they were changed. Their panic and fear turned to joy, and with the power of the Holy Spirit upon them, that small band of followers created a church with over two billion members today.

Josh McDowell’s conversion is the story of change. And that is the story of the Resurrection as well. People are changed. Skeptics become believers, the fearful find confidence, love triumphs over hate, and those who believe in the promises of Jesus conquer death.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost but now am found,

Was blind, but now I see.