Most of us want to create a family legacy of love that is passed on from one generation to another, but many times either marital strife or estranged children get in the way of accomplishing that. So how do you solve these common family problems so that your legacy is one of love and forgiveness? Perhaps the answer is in Jesus’s instructions to love our enemies.
Is Forgiveness Like The Backwards Brain Bicycle?
You may feel they are impossible to forgive. It might seem so counterintuitive that you might think it impossible. How hard is it to do something counterintuitive? Dustin Sandlin produces short videos demonstrating truths of life. See video below:
A welder put together a bicycle so that the handlebars turned the front wheels opposite to the direction of the turn.
In his video: “The Backwards Brain Bicycle,” The welder asked Dustin to try to ride the bike. He could not even begin to ride because the brain is so trained to ride a bike normally. Dustin took the bike around the world in speeches that he gave, and no one could ride the bike even ten feet. The brain is trained to turn the handle bar right and go right and turn it left and go left. Dustin practiced for five minutes each day for eight months before he could finally ride the welder’s bike.
I have people in my life that are difficult to forgive and forget.
Do you? Is it important that we adjust our thinking so that we can forgive someone that may be impossible to forgive because what they keep doing hurts you? It could take a day or a week or many years, but Jesus calls us to love them and forgive. So we as Christians are compelled to try and try and try.
We love our enemies not to impress Jesus but because we want to participate in His love and because He demonstrated how much he loves all of us—including our enemies.
If we want to participate in Jesus’s love, we are to love our enemies, even those enemies that are closest to us – and, therefore, can inflict the most pain. We are no different than pagans if we love those that love us back. We are called to love unconditionally.
The reward is changing the legacy of our families forever.
So how do we love enemies? It can happen with these three steps:
- Decide you will. You CAN do it. The power that God gives us to love our enemies is the same power God used to raise Jesus.
- Make a plan.
a. Pray for them
b. Initiate intentional, healing conversations
c. Consider counseling
d. Seek God’s grace and courage to continue.
- Carry it out. Prioritize from the easiest step to the hardest. Know that it will be hard (like riding a backwards brain bike) and could take weeks, in some cases years…Don’t give up.
As a Christian, you have been justified through your belief in Jesus and his death and resurrection. No matter how long it takes, your pursuit to love and forgive others will teach you so much about God’s love – this is the second part of God’s plan for us called Sanctification. Satan hates family, and God loves family. Through the grace of God and His power, you will win, even if winning is simply knowing that you are loved.
(Source: Phil Vaughan sermon, www.southeastcc.org)
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By Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring
about significant impact for His Kingdom.