I’ve been thinking about this word all day…
Your mind may jump to a few conclusions when you first read that word. It can be used to describe your physical/mental state after you’ve had one too many to drink. It could also bring back memories of playing Grand Theft Auto…
Or it could bring thoughts about a life, albeit yours or someone else’s, that was inevitably wasted.
There are a myriad of ways you could waste your life. It’s not necessarily something that someone would strive to achieve yet it’s so many people attain. Aren’t you afraid of wasting your life?
Imagine this scenario with me: You’ve recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness and the time has come for you to pass. The emotions overwhelm your soul. You’re surrounded by all of your loved ones. The steady beeping reminder of your beating heart slowly fading, slowly dying. Imagine that even though death were creeping closer, the only thought that raced through your mind was “I wasted it.”
If you’re like me, and care about the life you live, that’s a mortifying thought. You only get one shot at life. They’re aren’t any do-overs. This is it.
The prevalent thought perusing through our society is that we’ll have another day or another chance. Our technological world drives this thinking.
Typo in your Facebook status? Oh, just click the “edit” button and you’ll get another chance to get it right.
Made a mistake at work? “I’m sure the boss will let it slide…I’ll live another day.”
Said something hurtful to a loved one? “They’ll be fine…They know I didn’t mean it like that. I’ll talk to them tomorrow.”
What if there is no tomorrow?
“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:13-14
So many people runnin’ around nowadays with their head buried in the fleeting idea that there will always be a tomorrow. How do you know?
I want to speak to the bitter, which I think may attribute to most of us, if we’re honest. Last night I delved into the idea of forgiveness. It’s a process of actively deciding to lay down your right for revenge. Instead of holding so tight to your pain, forgiveness is a releasing. It really isn’t for the benefit of the one who hurt you so much as it is for yourself.
I want to try to back that up by adding this sentiment: What if there isn’t a tomorrow for you and I? Do we really want to die bitter? Do we really want to come to the end of our life and have to admit that we wasted it worrying about what that someone did to us that one time? No matter your hurt, in the grand scheme of life, doesn’t that seem petty?
I’m not degrading the pain you’ve experienced. I’m in the trenches with you. Writing this is difficult because I don’t even want to hear it for myself. It’s pivotal, though, that we all remind ourselves of the fleeting nature of life and how quickly it passes.
Yes, so and so hurt you. Yes, you have a right to feel what you’re feeling. No, you don’t have a justifiable reason to hold on to your anger. God has forgiven you and I of an incredible burden. He released us from our sin and the penalty of it (guilt, shame, and spiritual death). Do you really think that you have a right to hold on to your anger when you know just how awful and hurtful you can be at times? Be honest with yourself. We all have some pretty nasty tendencies sometimes.
Even if you don’t believe in a God…Do you really want another human being gaining control of all of your emotions, actions, and thoughts? Do they really have that much power over you? If you’re holding onto an unresolved anger you’re willfully giving that unsuspecting person control.
Let it go.
Your life, my life, is not worth the time wasted on other people’s actions. They suck. People will walk into your life, lie to your face, and then stab a dagger in your back. We all know this to be true and an active part of life but why do we act so surprised when it actually happens?
Are we really so far caught up in our idealism of utopia that we forget we’re all sinful, selfish, and evil human beings?
God forgives you. God forgives that person, whether you think they deserve it or not. Let’s not focus on the other person right now, though. God forgives you. He knows who you are more than you know who you are. He sees every dirty inch of your soul yet He still loves you and He still continually chooses to offer you forgiveness.
He’s giving you an opportunity to be free. It’s a chance to walk away from your hatred, your bitterness, your prison cell. Do you fully grasp what that means? I mean, let’s be real. I read your blogs, most of them, and I see posts dedicated to being free from the hell you’re living in. Peruse through a few of my posts and you’ll find a couple of those as well. What sets us free is forgiveness.
We’re too caught up in this diatribe towards ourselves and those we hate to realize that our freedom is one decision away. How can we be justified in our expressions for freedom when we actively run from it every chance we get?
Oh, but you don’t believe in God? I mean, that’s your decision but I’m telling you from personal experience that He’s the only one who can truly bring peace. Don’t believe me? That’s ok. I can’t force it but I’ll be sure to remind you.
The pain you feel is too deep? What about the pain Christ felt on the cross with the sin of the world pressing down on his shoulders? Is that pain not deep enough to cover what you’re going through? Are you and I really going through something so bad that not even the God of the universe can help? Who are we to think that we can handle our own affairs? I can almost guarantee that if we took a real deep look at the events that transpired to bring us to this place, we’d realize that we probably weren’t so innocent after all.
But you’ll never get an apology? Who says that you really deserve one? I can guarantee you that that very thought is probably going through their head. It’s not harsh, it’s the truth. The only thing separating you from freedom is yourself.
Have I made you angry with me yet? If so, good. Truth really doesn’t feel good and I don’t really intend this to be an ear pleasing sentiment.
Bringing it back down a notch…Forgiveness is key in this life. We are sure to find trouble in this world, we’re sure to find pain, and we’re sure to dish it out. What sets the satisfied and dissatisfied souls of the world apart is? You guessed it, forgiveness.
Do you and I really want to come to the end of our life and realize that we wasted all of our precious time by being mad about something that someone did to us? Is it really that worth it to you? As I said last night, odds are, the person you hate doesn’t even realize what they’ve done. Even if they did realize, if they haven’t come with an apology yet, they probably won’t ever because they don’t care. If they have come to you with an apology and you’re still hanging on to that hate, well, that’s no one’s fault but your own.
I say all of this because I’m dealing with it, too. You aren’t alone in your anger. I’m not alone either. It’s a good thing, too because then none of us would ever have anyone to tell us the hard, loving truth.
You are loved, you are valuable. Don’t come to the end of your life and wish that you would have forgiven sooner. Choose to live your life to the fullest today because it may be the last thing you could decide.
It’s not worth it. Let it go. You’ll be better off for it.