We put up our Christmas tree the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It is a really cool tree. You plug it up and VOILA! LIGHTS!
Unfortunately for us, there was only a handful of lights that actually lit up this year. So my hubby added more lights (which you aren’t supposed to have to do).
For a day, anyway.
I walked across the floor (my footfall can be a little heavy at times) and POOF! The lights went out. I figured I needed to walk more gently.
The lights came back on after we toggled the plug-in.
Then one my daughters walked across the floor.
POOF! Lights out. (She has the footfall of a ninja, btw.)
We toggled again.
Such was the routine for the day. It didn’t last.
All the lights went out. Even the handful of lights we originally had were lifeless.
There was a short somewhere, so I had to unplug the tree.
My tree just stood there… but no one could enjoy its light.
Has that ever happened to you?
Has there been a time when you felt so excited about something that you were practically beaming… ready to light up a room. Then…POOF! There’s a “short” in your joy?
Maybe someone stomped through your joyful place. They made a snide comment, rolled their eyes at your joke or dismissed what you had to share.
Or maybe, just maybe, you’ve thought someone stomped on you- but in reality, they tiptoed as much as possible.
I believe the technical word for this is “offense”.
Perhaps someone hurled insults at you (intentionally), out of their own anger, frustration or ugly attitude. It’s not a pretty place… and we’ve all been there.
Or maybe someone said or did something (with no mal intent) that made unpleasant feelings bubble up inside your soul. It simply offended you.
This can be even harder than the intentional type of offense. We can’t put our finger on why the other person bothers us – but they do. We are simply “offended” by their presence.
And in either case… Poof! Lights off.
So when offense comes, what do you do?
Back to our tree for a minute… A couple of days ago hubby plugged it into a different outlet. And guess what? No POOF!
The tree lights don’t go out when my ninja-esque daughter glides across the floor. And it doesn’t even blink when I walk!
Maybe, when we are offended (either intentionally or unintentionally)- and our lights go out – we need to make sure we are plugged into the right outlet. Maybe, just maybe, we are relying on our own strength and power to keep the lights on. I don’t believe that forgiveness means we forget what happened. But I do believe it means we choose to forgive even when we are reminded of the things that hurt us. We choose to forgive the offense and the offender… and not hold on to the pain caused by both.
We cannot control another person’s actions, but we can control our reactions. And forgiveness brings light to those dimmed places we experience.
So do you have any “poof” places in your life right now?
Just something to think about…
John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Colossians 3:12-14So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
Proverbs 17:9 Overlook an offense and bond a friendship; fasten on to a slight and—good-bye, friend!