Posts Tagged ‘forgive’

A Polite Conversation With Him

Jan 07

A Polite Conversation With Him 010712 2by Victoria Robinson

What in the world does learning how to use etiquette in conversation and learning how to converse with our heavenly Father have in common? Actually, quite a bit. Conversations with Him are what we think of as prayer. In the 1896 etiquette book, The Secret of a Happy Home, Christian author, Marion Harland, speaks of the satisfaction in telling one’s woes and sorrows to an interested listener.

“Undoubtedly there is a momentary satisfaction in telling one’s woes and sorrows to an interested listener. When the auditor is a friend, and a trusted friend, whose sympathy is genuine and whose discretion is vast, there is a comfort beyond description in unburdening one’s soul.”

Marion Harland, The Secret of a Happy Home 1896

Fortunately every one of us has a trusted friend we can unburden our souls to. King Solomon told us, “… there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” The friend  he is referring to is Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Our Lord and Savior gave us detailed instructions on having a polite conversation in prayer with our heavenly Father. He told us, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.”

“Some people are always bored. May it not be because they look at everything animate and inanimate from a selfish standpoint, with the query in their minds, “How does that affect me?” The old definition of a bore as “a person who talks so much of himself that he gives you no chance to of yourself,” may apply not only to the bore, but to the bored. When you find yourself wearied and uninterested, be honest enough to examine yourself calmly, and see if the reason is not because your vis-a-vis is not talking about anything which interests you especially. Should he turn the conversation upon your favorite occupation or pastime, or even upon your personal likes and dislikes (which, by the way, might be an infinite bore to him), would he not at once become entertaining?”
Marion Harland, The Secret of a Happy Home 1896

Listening to the other person is an important key to polite conversation. Nobody enjoys chatting with a boorish person who only is concerned with prattling on about themselves. Your heavenly Father is not interested in having a one-way conversation with you. Besides, if you are not listening during your prayer, you cannot possibly attain His wisdom for your requests. Conversing with our heavenly Father must always include listening. In her 1860 book, The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness, Florence Hartley gives us instruction on the importance of listening while conversing.

“It seems paradoxical to observe that the art of listening well forms a part of the duty of conversation. To give up the whole of your attention to the person who addresses himself to you, is sometimes a heavy tax, but it is one which we must pay for the privileges of social life, and an early practice will render it an almost involuntary act of good breeding; whilst consideration for others will give this little sacrifice a merit and a charm.”
Florence Hartley, The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness 1860

Genuine praise is another important aspect of good conversation. Marion Harland gives an excellent example of developing the habit of praising the one you are talking with.

“Ten girls whom I know formed a society for the repression of unkind criticism. The members themselves to try, as far as in them lay, to speak kindly of people when it was possible for them to do so, and when impossible to say nothing. At first it was hard, for self-conceit would intrude, and it is hard for one girl to praise another who dislikes her. Little by little the tiny seed of effort grew into a habit of kindly speech.”
Marion Harland, The Secret of a Happy Home 1896

This story is reminiscent of the hardness that can develop in our hearts and hinder us from praising our heavenly Father during prayer. The enemy of your soul will always point out why God is not worthy to be praised. A direct contradiction to the Scriptures! The psalmist tells us, “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.”

Just as Marion Harland reminds us that no true lady complains while conversing with others, neither should we bring our request to the Lord in a complaining manner.

“But if you do not feel this, for politeness’ sake refrain from making your listener supremely uncomfortable by your complaints. No true lady will so far forget her innate ladyhood as to be guilty of this rudeness.”
Marion Harland, The Secret of a Happy Home 1896

An extremely descriptive picture of the perils of complaining while praying are found in the book of Numbers. The Israelites were whining about not having meat and my oh my did they ever get their request granted! The Lord said, “The LORD heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the LORD, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’”

Polite conversation sometimes involves forgiveness. The person chatting with you may say something offensive and it is important for you to overlook the words that have wounded your heart. The Lord instructed us that prayer also involves forgiveness. In the book of Matthew, Jesus told us, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Our prayers will be hindered if we approach God and have unforgiveness towards others.

Dearest girlfriends, let us endeavor to develop polite conversation when we pray.

Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. … ~ Psalm 55:22 NLT 

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you. ~ 1 Peter 5:7 NLT
 
If you are having trouble, you should pray. … ~ James 5:13 CEV
 
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. ~ Proverbs 18:24 NIV
 
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. ~ Psalm 18:3 NKJV
 
“Tell the people: ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The LORD heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the LORD, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’” ~ Numbers 11:18-20 NIV
 
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. ~ Proverbs 12:16 NIV
 
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. “This, then, is how you should pray: ”‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ~ Matthew 6:7-13 NIV
You can read these antique etiquette books from the library of Girlfriend’s Café by clicking on the links below.
 The Secret of a Happy Home
The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness

Giving Forgiveness

Nov 16

by Victoria Robinson

Do you cringe when the topic of forgiveness comes up. Are you squirming right now at the thought of someone you need to give forgiveness to. Usually our first thought is, “But you don’t understand what they did to me!” No, none of us really can feel the depth of pain others feel, but there is someone who understands it all. That is your heavenly Father who has forgiven you of ALL your sins. Not selective forgiveness like we so often choose to give those around us.

The reason forgiveness is always needed is that we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. As long as there is sin, there will be a need for forgiveness. The verse in the book of Romans that tells us we all have sinned goes on to say that we are justified freely by God’s grace. Did you catch that one significant word? Freely is the word used to describe the forgiveness our heavenly Father uses to describe His forgiveness to us. Girlfriends, we need to develop this same lavish mentality when it comes to forgiving others.

Then there is the unthinkable idea presented to us by the apostle Paul. He pleaded with the church in Corinth to forgive a brother and affirm their love for him. So now we see a picture of not only having to forgive, but to comfort the one who has hurt us. Is it not enough that we should have to forgive, but must we be subjected to bring comfort to the very one who has grieved us for the purpose of consoling their grief? Once again we need to look at the behavior of our heavenly Father to be reminded of how we should ourselves behave. Has your heavenly Father comforted you after you have sinned? Of course He has! In Isaiah He says that he has seen the sins of the contrite and yet will still bring healing and comfort.

Our heavenly Father brings comfort to the contrite, but what about those who are not contrite. Perhaps they have not even asked for forgiveness. Should we extend forgiveness to them? Absolutely! By not forgiving we only place ourselves in a prison of misery. Whether or not they have repented, we are the wise one if we choose forgiveness. Think about this. If we do not forgive, is that not sin on our part? Does that not put us in the same category of the one we resent?

Dearest girlfriends, let us free ourselves from the spiritual prison of unforgiveness by choosing to unconditionally love those who have wronged us.

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. ~ Matthew 6:14-15 NIV
 
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. ~ Matthew 18:21-22 NIV 
 
… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. ~ Romans 3:23-24 NIV
 
If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent—not to put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. ~ 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 NIV
 
I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him … ~ Isaiah 57:18 NIV
 
You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: ”‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’” So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. ~ Romans 14:10-12 NIV
 
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. ~ Colossians 3:13 NIV

Finding Forgiveness

Nov 15

by Victoria Robinson

Are you in need of forgiveness? The only way to find forgiveness is to ask for it. In the book of Genesis, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery. From there his life kept spiraling tragically downward. Joseph’s brothers had done something so egregious to Joseph that forgiveness is unimaginable. Yet through the gracious power of God, forgiveness is always possible. They went and humbled themselves before their brother and found undeserved forgiveness from a brother who loved the Lord his God with all his heart.

If you need to find forgiveness, simply ask. Whoever you need forgiveness from, whether a person or your heavenly Father, just humble yourself and ask. When asking for forgiveness it is important to be repentant by confessing what wrongs you have committed.

Your heavenly father is always willing to forgive you. The truth is that people may not always choose to forgive. Understand, this is not your responsibility. Once you have humbled yourself, repented and asked for forgiveness you will walk in freedom even if others do not want to forgive you. Girlfriends, I know that even though you have done your part to make things right, it can still be painful to know they will not forgive you. This is where you need to find comfort in the Word of God and know that you have been forgiven by Him.

The most important forgiveness you will ever need is the forgiveness of your sins that gives you the opportunity to go to heaven. If you would like to know how to receive this eternal forgiveness, click the following link. Heaven

Dearest girlfriends, I pray our hearts would be cleansed of our offenses by repenting and asking forgiveness.

When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept. His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said. But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. ~ Genesis 50:15-21 NIV
 
So if you are standing before the altar in the Temple, offering a sacrifice to God, and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there beside the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. ~ Matthew 5:23-24 NLT
 
This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men. ~ Acts 24:16 NKJV
If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared. ~ Psalm 130:3-4 NIV
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:9 NIV
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. ~ Colossians 1:14-15 NIV