Saturday March 11, 2017 Undivided

Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on Your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name.  Psalm 86:11

I talk about being single-minded and focused often.  Gary often comments about this because I miss a lot that is going on around me because I can put on the blinders with the best of them.  But I know that I have a long way to go when it comes to being “undivided” in MY HEART.  When Jesus walked, He gave us several important directions to live by… things that if I were to embrace them would make my heart “undivided.”  The biggest one that I stumble over is His admonition to “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:44-45

After 9/11 I used this verse with my teenagers preparing for Confirmation and asked them to forgive Osama Ben Laden and the terrorists who killed so many during the attacks.  Sometimes when wounds are new and raw, this seems like a total impossibility.  WE had a very intense discussion and then I asked them to picture a friend who had betrayed them at school, or a brother or sister who had gotten them in trouble with their parents.  Is it easier to forgive and love a stranger or a friend or relative?  Sometimes, I think it is much easier to move past the hurt done by a stranger than someone who is supposed to love you.  Jesus gave us examples of both.  Peter betrayed Jesus even after his Lord had told him that he would do so.  Jesus forgave him.  Jesus forgave the soldiers from the cross.  WOW, what a testimony to having an undivided heart!

No matter how difficult it may be, forgiveness is the only way to move on.  There is so much truth in the adage, Harboring anger is like drinking poison yourself expecting another to die. Anger and unforgiveness divide my soul and make my entire body war within itself.  I am no longer God’s child.

Lord help me to forgive those who hurt me.  Whether strangers or friends, open my heart toward those who hurt me. Unite me and allow me to wholly love You and those who You have placed in my life. 

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