Friday, Dec. 6 – Ann Odembo

6 Dec

Friday, Dec. 6 – Peace

Today’s Scripture:
Psalm 23; Matthew 5:8

PEACE

“Forgiveness! Forgiveness! You keep talking about forgiveness with no idea what he (she) did to me!” How many times have you heard that? Or said that? Some wise person said that unforgiveness is like drinking poison hoping that the other person dies first! Sounds hilarious until you begin personal reflection-of the forgiveness you have grudgingly withheld from others; or  personal deep secrets meticulously hidden from our religious faces and niceties.

Just like me-even years after accepting Christ, I nested an unforgiving spirit for others and myself. I rejected that Christ would forgive all of my sins and  refused to forgive others who sinned against me. What pride! However growing through small group studies and accountability I learnt  the truth of Philippians 2:6-8 where Christ Himself, God, obediently and humbly left His throne and came to this earth and died on the cross for me and you. My friend Tammy drew my attention to Romans 8:1, an eye opener that freed me from condemnation by the enemy, others and myself-especially myself!

Who am I to talk about  forgiveness! I don’t know or understand the depth of burdens of  pain, wounds, abuse, rejection, guilt and shame  you have endured. Or who is Chris August even to sing 7×70 times? Nonetheless,  it must be extremely critical for Jesus to command us to forgive countless times! He knew it heals and restores peace and reconciliation between us and God, amongst us and within us.

Now you see why it’s almost impossible to think of peace without  forgiveness invariably coming to mind. It’s easier to accept Christ’s forgiveness but constantly rationalize why we should withhold it from others. Romans 12:18 reiterates “If it possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” I yearned for that peace, and  had to urgently forgive myself, let go the shame and guilt, forgive family members and friends. You will agree that its extremely tough to choose to forgive despite the unfairness and your being right. I had to forgive regardless of whether an olive branch or apology had been extended. But oh! What a relief! What peace!

This attitude has impacted my marriage, relationship with my children, brothers and sisters. Both mom and dad have gone to be with the Lord but with the gift of peace  Christ has given me I can now recount numerous lessons they taught me, see their gait and traits in my kids, replay their jokes and hearty laughter, see their humanity and love for me in countless ways that were previously blinded by my unforgiving spirit.

Given that we do not always feel loving toward others, we must continue the pursuit of peace, joy, love and purity of heart as Mathew 5:8 says, ” Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”  Despite all of life’s strife, we must make a deliberate choice for peace, not by ourselves but by His grace, yes, by His Grace!

-Ann Odembo

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One Response to “Friday, Dec. 6 – Ann Odembo”

  1. Anonymous December 8, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Love you.

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