We are now into the second month of this New Year, and most of our resolutions have probably fallen by the wayside by now. These usually have to do with a change in behavior. However, before we can have a change in behavior, we must first have a change in our thinking. As one Pastor puts it, “Where the mind goes, the body follows”! That stands to reason. There is a term called “stinking thinking” and most of us are victims of this malady, at one time or another. Many of us are okay as far as really bad habits are concerned, but some of us need to lose a few pounds, drink more water, and/or get to bed earlier.

In many cases, our transgressions aren’t against the body, but rather against our own soul. We carry too many things from our past and are so burdened down, that it robs us of our physical strength, our joy of life, and steals from our future. It corrupts our thinking and distorts our perspective. These past wounds are dragged around 24/7 like a decaying Albatross tied around our necks. We stink!

We are unpleasant to be around, because all we do is talk about the past, or who hurt us lately. We just want to talk, talk, talk, maybe to purge our pain! Some may be a little more subtle by being unusually quiet to get you to ask questions, or want you to read our minds so we can talk about the past. Many wear our emotions on our sleeves, get hurt easily, and then complain about the offense. I’ve heard it said that hurt turns into anger, and anger turned inward, results in depression. If we were quick to forgive, we could short-circuit this whole sad process. God is love, but hurt does not want, or allow us to love, or entertain forgiveness; so now we are on the wrong side of God!

This is a good year to face and deal with these unresolved hurts. The Lord says, “You’ve dwelt long enough on this mountain”. Many carry old wounds from childhood. Cutting words have been inflicted upon our souls. Kids can be cruel to one another. I don’t know of anyone who has gotten through their childhood without being wounded by cutting words, whether from their peers, siblings, parents, or sometimes teachers. Words have power. Proverbs 12 likens harsh words as to the piercing of a sword. Proverbs 18 also says “life and death is in the power of the tongue” which means we can SPEAK life or death to someone. There are scores of other Scriptures that say these same things.

As parents, we can make or break our children’s self-image. As a spouse, we can inflict such pain, degradation, and humiliation upon our mate, that we often drive them out of the marriage. As siblings, we can be a hero or a tormentor to the younger ones. If we were the former, we are friends for life. If we were the latter, we are locked into that role in their minds, and they don’t want to be around us even when we become adults. We often reap what we sow, which is determined by whether we have been selfish or selfless! If we sow love, praise, and encouragement into our family’s lives, we will reap it right back. The flip side holds just as true.

Most of the time, unresolved hurt keeps us down, holds us back, and robs us of the blessings of God. I heard a preacher say hurt is based in selfishness or pride. It distorts our views and decisions, and gives us wrong perspectives. If undealt with year after year, it will turn into bitterness, which is defiling and toxic, and we spew it out onto others, thereby defiling them as well. If you’ve ever been around a woman who has endured a long miserable marriage, you’ll not hear very many positive things about men or marriage. Prolonged pain tends to make us bitter!

God has and will make those bitter waters sweet once again, if we let Him.

The Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:17, if we are in Christ Jesus, we are new creatures, old things (hurts included) are passed away and all things become new.

I talk to many parents who raised their kids in the ways of the Lord, and it is shocking as to how these now ADULT children talk to their parents, with such disrespect. The parents are heartbroken and bewildered as to how this is possible. “We never spoke to our parents in this way, so they didn’t get that attitude from our bad example”! These same parents seldom if ever get to see their own grandchildren; such is the extent of the disconnection between our generations. This behavior is almost an epidemic, and not just in the unsaved American families. It’s in the Church!

Most of us who became parents in the 1960’s through the 1980’s, raised our kids the way our parents raised us. It was the “Spare the rod, spoil the child” rule. We had regular chores, bedtimes, and didn’t even think of defying our parents. Others who rebelled, or who were actually abused by their parents, opted for the Dr. Spock concept and were more inclined to spoil their children. When both types of kids met up in High School or College and compared notes, the disciplined ones walked away feeling they had been duped all their lives! They felt cheated, and mistreated as children. (We even made them accompany us to church)!

As today’s adults, they see no value in marriage or having children. They totally live for themselves, their “significant others” and/or their pets; they mostly cut Mom and Dad out of their lives, because their memories of childhood are just too painful! They don’t seem to have an understanding of REAL love. Now days, many parents have to forgive their children!

We cannot allow our point of reference to be our past pain, even though many of us have lived through some horrendous things. We all have to let go of what people have done, or what we THINK they have done to us. We must dismiss it all and not be deceived to think we can’t change. We do have hope and our hope is in the Lord, because we cannot do it alone.

I think we must begin by getting before the Lord, and asking Him to help us, not only to forgive but FORGET all this junk that has kept us impotent. We can’t move (grow) when we are paralyzed with bitterness. We must pray that, as Christ has forgiven and forgotten OUR sins, He helps us forgive others and throw all their sins against US in that same “Sea of Forgetfulness”, where Jesus has cast our sins against HIM! (You may have to pray this more than once). Next, we must MAKE ourselves do what we ought to do. We have to quit paying attention to FEELINGS which are fickle, anyway. We must make ourselves love and PRAY for those who have hurt and used us. (It is hard to hate someone you are praying for)! Check out the Word, where it tells us we have the mind of Christ. Read Luke 10:19 where it says we have to power to tread on serpents (hurts) and scorpions (who sting us with past words and injects poison into our hearts) and over all the power (bitterness) of the enemy, and nothing by any means shall hurt us, (not even painful memories).

We must take charge over our own “stinking thinking” and emotions rather than allow them to rule over us! Forgiveness is like falling in love; it is a decision. It is a CHOICE, not an emotion…emotion comes later.

Releasing and forgetting is also a decision, but it is a battle. However…God is faithful in the pulling down of strongholds in our mind, and “I can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens me”. Christ showed us how to do battle with the devil…He kept quoting God’s Holy Word back at him as Satan was testing Christ in the wilderness. Lay hold on these battle Scriptures, and fire them right back into your mind against these onslaughts of hurt and painful memories. Every time we have ever endured a blow, Jesus was/is standing there praying to the Father for our strength to overcome. And overcome, we SHALL, because the battle is the Lord’s and His holy arm has already gotten us the victory! Amen…

I hope this has been of help to some of you…if so please email me.

God Bless You All,

Pastor Moser

February, 2009

W. O. W.

You are the salt of the earth, but if it loses it savor, how can it be made salty again. It is no longer good for anything” Matthew 5:13.