Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Learning to be a duck

Once in a while someone just has to pick on you, it seems as if they just see you and think you are a great target. Since I have been in Shelton there has been one of those people who just has to pick on me. We'll call him "BZ." BZ seems to think that I am a terrible missionary, and he often tells me such and makes many other pointed comments to tear me down. If you know me at all, you know that I cannot stand when people don't like me, I always want to do everything I can to fix whatever hard feelings there are. But it seemed like BZ and I could never get along. To be frank I was frustrated, I would come home from church crying because of something he said, I could never quite process why he would say what he would say, and it made me mad.
I decided to try an experiment, we had dinner with the Z family this past week, and instead of talking a whole lot, I sat back and people-watched the Z family, wondering how they treated each other. My amazing discovery was that the Z family treated each other just exactly how BZ treated me, with contempt and criticism. So with that in mind, I realized that it wasn't just me, BZ treats everyone this way, and it made me sad for him. To treat someone that way, you must be really hurt inside.
This began my process of forgiveness, in D&C 64:9-11 we learn a powerful truth:

Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his       brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the   greater sin.
I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of youit is required to forgive all men.
And ye ought to say in your hearts—let God judge between me and thee, and reward thee according to thy deeds.

Someone said something in Relief Society yesterday that really stood out to me, "Forgiveness does not diminish justice, it entrusts it to God." Why would we want to be the judge of someone when we could leave that to God?

I studied this topic the other day and I just loved what True to the faith had to say about it:
Pray for strength to forgive those who have wronged you. Abandon feelings of anger, bitterness, or revenge. Look for the good in others rather than focusing on their faults and magnifying their weaknesses. Allow God to be the judge of others’ harmful actions. It may be difficult to let go of hurt feelings, but you can do it with the Lord’s help. You will find that forgiveness can heal terrible wounds, replacing the poison of contention and hatred with the peace and love that only God can give.

Our Heavenly Father wants to give us incredible blessings, He wants to forgive us. Let me repeat that HE WANTS TO FORGIVE YOU. He is not some unloving God who simply wants you to pay for your sins, He wants to forgive you, He wants you to be made clean and whole. He wants to give you all that He can. But He cannot bless you if you are unwilling to forgive others.
A story often told in this ward goes a little like this:
Sister Brown and Sister Edens were just out doing their visiting teaching, it was a typical day some thirty years ago. As they parked in front of the home of one of the sisters in their care, they were carjacked, and told to kneel down on the street. They were each shot several times, causing permanent damage, fortunately neither woman's wounds were fatal. Unfortunately, both women have lifelong issues due to their wounds.
Remarkably these women were able to forgive those who had caused them such pain and anguish. They still have problems, but their pains are swallowed up in the love of God.
My dear friends, if these women could forgive such a horrible attack, can we not forgive the snide remarks of others? Can we not forgive the person who causes us the most agony of spirit? Can we not let it go?
After suffering the utmost agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, as He was dying on the cross, Christ uttered these, profound words, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” Luke 23:34 If Christ can forgive we can too.
When you pour water on the back of a duck, it cannot stay, it simply rolls off, their backs cannot be wet. So I am learning to be a duck, I am learning to just let the comments of others roll of my back, because in the end it is not actually about me. BZ must be broken inside, and if I let his comment s continue to get to me, I will be broken inside too, and I don't ever want that to happen.
I have run into too many less actives who left the church because someone offends them. My words to them are "It is not the church that has offended you, but the people in it." My advice to all who hold grudges and who are unwilling to forgive because they have been wronged, is to let it go. You will be a better you if you choose to. Don't ever let people get in the way of your own progression.

All my love,
Sister Megan Monson

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