And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice…” Jesus Luke 18:7-8
Have you ever been robbed?
I was once. Someone broke into my house and stole $600 from my bedroom. Even though I never saw the thief, a creepy sense of violation made being in the house and sleeping at night difficult.
Have you been betrayed?
Maybe a friend gossiped about you, or your spouse had an affair.
Have you lost a loved one because of murder, an accident or illness?
And what about assault? Many of us have been physically abused, molested or raped. Even verbal abuse is an assault. When we’re a victim, we can become stuck in a place of feeling the need for the wrong to be made right. The injustice to be rectified.
We seek – we need vindication.
Most people have had some kind of injustice visited upon them. But much of the time, vindication doesn’t come. Perpetrators rarely admit their crimes let alone apologize for them. Often, our hurt goes unanswered because we kept the offense to ourselves. Maybe we even blamed ourselves.
I was stuck there. Here are a few signs that you may be too:
- Do you notice even the slightest of wrongs whether against you or not?
- Are you hyper vigilant to point out when your family “messes up?”
- Do you find yourself believing that your loved ones are trying to hurt you?
- Do you take offense at mistakes as if you were the target?
- Are you quick to assign blame?
Recently, I read the verse above. It wasn’t the first time, but it was the first time that I took to heart what Jesus was saying. I realized that my thoughts and action were often the result of feeling the need for vindication for the many areas I had been victimized in my past.
Jesus’s words finally sunk in.
He is the one who defends me. He will make it right in the end. At some point, those who have hurt me will be called to account. He WILL see justice done because I am his child who he loves.
He loves you too.
He sees our distress and pain. He knows the injustices we’ve suffered. He is not ignoring us. It may seem that he doesn’t care, but his timing is perfect. It is not for us to hold onto the injustices – that only hurts and hinders us.
When we allow his timing for vindication, we can be free to live. No longer will the weight of those moments hinder our lives.
We can let go.
Sometimes we need to talk about the hurt, pain or injustice in order to let it go into Jesus’s hands. I’m happy to listen in the comments below.
Every day we make mistakes.
We say and do things we know are wrong, hurtful or leading us in a direction away from where we want to end up.
And every day we can decide to change our trajectory.
How do we do that? In the Bible, Luke 3:8 tells us to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
Do we hate that word “repentance?” I used to. Until I learned that to repent simply means to turn around.
Like in 180°.
To see that we are headed the wrong way, catch it and say “I blew it. I’m sorry, God. I want to turn around.”
It’s really not as painful as we seem convinced it is. Well, okay, some things can be – like when we’ve lied to someone, or said something behind their back, or broken a promise. Yes, it is hard to come clean that we’ve been looking at inappropriate material or using the company card for our personal benefit. But when we’re taking our life forward into better, repentance is the way to go. Besides…
God already forgave us.
Done deal. So our acknowledging our sinful ways and receiving his forgiveness is a simple step. And every time we repent, it gets easier. Then we actually sin less. Some attitudes or action need to be repented of a hundred times in a day at first, but each time creates a new path. Thank goodness.
So what’s this “fruit of repentance?”
The evidence that we’re getting it.
God tells us there are 3 things that show when we are living a repentant lifestyle:
- Generosity – A heart that is willing to give to those in need. Things, time, resources.
- Honesty -No lying to secure something for ourselves. No accusing others for our gain.
- Contentment – Being happy with what we have without trying to take more than our share.
I’m so grateful God forgives us and then gives us a barometer to remind us of how we’re doing. Embracing a repentant life means we’re living a freer life. I’m all for that!
Is there some area where you feel you need to make a U-Turn? I’d love to hear about it.
Yesterday, Brendan tiptoed into our bedroom(home of my office) with the grin of a Cheshire cat.
“Darling, guess what?”
He held a small package in his hand.
He nodded and held it out as if on a silver platter for me to open. My book proof had come. I pulled the tab and slid it out. My book. The culmination of a thousand starts and stops, tears, rewrites and re directions sat in my hands, my name on the cover. I like the cover.
I confess, I don’t know how other authors feel when they see their books in print for the first time. I’ve never thought to ask. There is something surreal about it, and I don’t think it’s fully sunk in. Writing is hard work. It takes practice and patience and gumption. It requires determination and fortitude. All of these thoughts have rattled around in my head since yesterday. And the work isn’t done. The final proofing will now begin.
But, the contemplation of process and pain, and questions of “am I good enough?” drift away as on a gentle breeze. None of those seem to matter now.
I mean, I absolutely hope my book will encourage someone, or bless them, make them laugh or sigh with hopeful longing. But the project has added so much to my life as a writer and as a person that I am content, I think. Whether anyone reads it, or likes it is now simply icing on the cake.
I’ve written a book. I’ve held it in my hands. That is no small thing, and I feel…satisfied.For you authors, how did you feel when you first held (or saw the Kindle) of your first book? For those of you still in process, can you speculate?
For anyone interested, there are still a few FREE copies to be had. AND there is still a week left to pre-order for 20% off the retail price. Click here to fill out the form requesting either or to volunteer to review it on your blog.