Forgiveness

By: Joan Meyler

A few months ago, I had a revelation on my way to church. A profound revelation!  The radio preacher talked of forgiveness. Okay, so I know I should forgive others, etc. At least I thought I did.

As he talked, I began to realize just how difficult it is to forgive. As a Christian, I am called to forgive others. To release them from the bondage I have created for them.  Yes, I create bondage for others. Don’t you?  I bind them to myself when I think I have set them free from the hurt and pain they have caused (Luke 6:27-28) yet I revisit the hurt/wrong as if it were an old friend. I have told myself that s/he is forgiven while wanting the person to feel the hurt I have held close. As I thought about this, I came to realize that I have also hurt that person; caused them pain and disappointment.  “Surely, they are also called to forgive me”, I thought as I tried to justify my kind of “forgiveness”.  Pondering the words of Jesus, I held the hope of forgiveness in my heart, in my pride and pain, as I hesitated to approach the wronged one.  Yet I must.  I must recognize my guilt.

Then came the recognition that my actions also caused me pain.  I must first forgive myself.  And there lies the challenge! For true forgiveness to occur, for me to truly bless the one that thoughtlessly used me, I must strip myself bear and examine my motives, my actions, my weaknesses.  I must remove the beam from my eye, heal my self-inflected wound, (Matthew 7:5) I must first acknowledge the wrong I did, and accept forgiveness from myself. I must release the rope with which I bond that hurt, pain, disappointment to me and allow reconciliation to take place. (Colossians 1:22)  Then and only then can I offer forgiveness to the one who wronged me and bring us both into the glorious presence of God where we receive His forgiveness and restoration.

I thank God for His patience as He reaches out to me (and you) with grace and mercy.  May we allow Him to lead us into a deeper understanding of who and how he wants us to be.

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What Wonder Woman Taught Me

By: Joan Meyler

Comic book heroes seem to be everywhere.  What do you think about that? I am a longtime Wonder Woman fan and am pleased that she is getting some renewed attention.  As a child, Wonder Woman was my hero!

a goddess, confident, possessor of super human power, able to defeat any foe and stand up for the good of mankind. And those weapons: lasso of truth, indestructible bracelets, projectile tiara, sword, shield, and boots up to her knees! Awesome!

In other words, she was everything I was not. What a fantastic role model for a little girl!

The latest Wonder Woman Movie starring Gal Gadot intrigued me and I made the decision to see if my childhood hero stood the test of time. I wondered how differently this version would be handled and attempted to suspend my prior knowledge. I enjoyed the movie but was struck by a new revelation.  Instead of focusing on the storyline I was mesmerized by her costume and character. The same costume that I admired as a child, took on a new meaning for me. The Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:10-20 to “put on the whole armor of God so that we are able to stand against the wiles of the devil . . . .” He goes on to list the components of this armor:

Belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, shield of faith,

helmet of salvation, sword of the spirit (word of God)

Watching this movie, I realized that (to me) Wonder Woman was a Christian! She wore the Armor of God! She exhibited the characteristics I aspire to! To me,

Her lasso, affixed at her waist, represented the belt of truth

She wore protective clothing (the breastplate of righteousness)

The tiara reminded me of the helmet of salvation which holds the thoughts, feelings and

purposes of God’s heart.

The sword she wielded with such authority made me think of the sword of the spirit

While she used an actual shield to deflect and extinguish projectiles (sin) which would destroy

her, faith is our shield.

Those amazing boots! Have you noticed that they coveed the most vulnerable parts of her foot

and leg?  Her entrance in any situation, location, indicates the arrival of peace.

Also, she is always dressed in armor, even when it is not visible. But then, aren’t we always dressed in our armor as we” pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and supplications”?

Turns out there is a lot to be learned from comic book heroes.  I wonder what I’ll learn form the next movie I see or comic I read.