Forgiveness: The Path to Real Peace and Joy 


I am on the tail end of a 365 day promise I made to myself to a daily devotional study using one of Joyce Meyer’s books. This experience has been such a blessing for me largely because it has helped me to begin my day focusing on the teachings of my faith and I have found that stepping into the world with that grounding helps the course of my overall day in the focusing of my mind and my heart.

Far too often we can choose to become overbusy in our lives. This is not a trait unique to non-Christians. In fact, I believe Christians may be some of the worst perpetrators of this overbusy behavior. We can became so focused on what we view as our tasks that we compassion and consideration in the name of doing “good works”.

That ain’t right.

How we treat people matters at all times, especially those who are not Christ-like in their treatment of us.

I have had people in my life who seem to revel in bring misery into the lives of others. I pray for them, because that is a sign of a lack of peace and love in their souls. There are times it is hard to pray for people like that, but for us to retain our peace, that is exactly what we must do.  We cannot lash out in anger because that is a trigger for the sacrifice of our peace of mind and spirit. Then we can’t do God’s work effectively.

When I was a child, I had the privilege of watching this lifestyle in action in the personages of Rev. and Mrs. Willie Gwyn, my beloved maternal grandparents. They just gave and gave and gave of themselves and they planted that seed in everyone they touched. I remember how good it felt as a child to help people the way they taught us to help, unselfishly and unexpectant of receiving anything in return.

I also remember many years later when I began to question that teaching because I began to feel that most of the people I was helping were only friendly towards me because of what they could get from me. I became overwhelmed and pulled back from helping others licking my wounds and asking God why He placed the gifts I have in me only to send me towards people who just want to selfishly use me without regard for my feelings and needs.

This is a trap that can and will throw us off of our divine mission. This is why a particular section of my devotional hit me so hard when I read it.

When we can look at people who’ve hurt us with compassion, there’s a party that goes on inside of us. 

God is that hard! Because it just seems like a simple thank you from someone you’ve stopped to help should be too much to ask. It seems like someone should reach out and call you sometimes not asking for something but just genuinely asking to see how you are doing.

But we’re not supposed to plug into a people powered source.

Our source, the power plant that never runs dry is the Lord. 

So if during the course of helping others we begin to feel overbusy or overtired, that should be our queue to check in with Big Daddy and see if our Source connection is in good working order. Sometimes that does include a rest period. Sometimes it means we’ve got to do some physical body maintenance work. Sometimes it means that we may be holding on to an assignment from God longer than we were meant to. That’s why we have to check in with our Source through regular and earnest prayer.

If you’d like to read the devotional from Joyce Meyers Ministries that inspired this timely reflection I have included it below. 

A few years ago someone told me about a person who was doing business with our ministry and making a good deal of money because of their relationship with us. My friend happened to be at the same restaurant, seated in the next booth, and overheard their conversation, which just happened to be about me – and they weren’t saying good things either. 

At first I got mad and just wanted to tell him that he was never getting our business again. But in bed that night, the Holy Spirit said to me, “You’re not going to do any of those things.” He said, “No, you’re going to do what you teach. You’re going to go buy him a present, and you’re going to tell him how much you appreciate the services that he’s given you all these years.” 

Needless to say, I resisted at first. But eventually, I relented and bought him a gift. 

What I remember most about the situation is that as soon as I started taking action to do something good for them, it just got so funny to me. I was laughing out loud in my house, all by myself. 

When we can look at people who’ve hurt us with compassion, there’s a party that goes on inside of us. 

So who can you forgive and do something nice for today? Practice forgiveness and follow the path it leads to real peace and joy! 

God, I want to obey Your word, which tells me to be compassionate and good to those who have hurt me. I know that when I do, I will experience peace and joy on the inside.
~ Marta C. Youngblood

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