Have you been through something where someone has done you wrong or someone you know wrong? Have you been bullied in school or at work? Has someone done something so terrible that you can't get past it? It can be hard to forgive, and even harder to forget things that have happened in our lives or to someone we know. As Christians we must learn how to move on and forgive others of their wrong doing.
Sometimes we are influenced by others that talk us down more or are negative influences. Someone close to you might say something like, how could you forgive him/ or her of that? or I wouldn't forgive them. This is where we as Christians have to learn to respond to those people with grace. Those are are trying to change their life around can refer to several verses in the bible.
Remember the bible is the word of God and tells us how we should be and live, and not one of our friends or family members. Living as God expects us to is one of the keys to getting to Heaven. So remember to forgive no matter how hard it may seem.
"For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Matthew 6:14-15
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" 2 Corinthians 5:17
We all have those we grow up with and those we become friends or acquaintances with later in life. How do the influence us as kids or adults? What type of influences do we keep as close friends? What type of influences are we spending time with? How does peer pressure affect us?
As human as we are, many of us tend to have negative influences in our life as well as positive influences. Who do you associate yourself with? As kids we also are influenced by peer pressure often. Are we hanging out with who is considered popular? Are we wearing what all the other kids are wearing? Are we talking like the popular kids? Are we doing what the other kids are doing?
There is one friend that all of us should be looking to as an example, how to be, live, and act like. That one person is Jesus. Jesus is the best friend we can have and the best influence we can have as adults or kids. We need to focus on God and not what others are doing, wearing, acting like, talking like, etc. The one person we must fit in with is God, are we living and acting as the bible says we should?
Look in the mirror and ask yourself; Who am I hanging out with? How do I talk? Do I respect and love others as I should? Do I obey my parents as I should? Am I worried about what I wear, how I look, and what others think of me? What things do I involve myself with? Who do I involve myself with? Do I know the ten commandments? Do I know that Jesus died on the cross for me?
To live as we should, what should we do? The answer to this is easier said than done for many people. We all struggle with something in life. That is why we must have faith and trust in God with everything in our life.
We should be reading our bibles, praying in detail, praying before our meals, going to church (more than just holidays or when we feel like it), associating ourselves with positive influences and role models, staying involved in church activities, spreading the word of God, being a loving and caring person, helping others find their way to God, and much more.
The list can go on forever on what we should be doing and is a step by step process for many people. Involving ourselves with strong Christians can be the game changer for many. We need to stop hanging out and associating ourselves with those who are going to bring us down to a low level in life. Influencing us to do the wrong things, act the wrong way, talk the wrong way, idol money and other items that are not of God, and disobey our parents or be disrespectful to them.
It is best to start living the right way while young so we do not have to learn the hard way. The hard way being things such as: going to jail, going to hell, or both. Negative influences we have in life can lead us down the wrong path in life. The negative influence can start with things as simple as cussing, using God's name in vain, being mean to others, showboating, bragging (boasting), or creating reasons not to go to church, pray, or read the bible.
We need to reverse this pattern in life and be the people God wants us to be.
If you feel that you are being led by negative influences, being pulled away from God, or never had a relationship with God; reach out to someone that is an influence that is good. If you are a good influence and have a strong relationship with God, reach out to those who don't.
"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" 2 Corinthians 6:14
"Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
Have you ever asked yourself, why is this happening to me? Why do I deserve this? What should I do? Why did they have to go? How am I going to pay my bills? How am I going to get food? Will things ever get better? Why do things always happen to me?
These are examples of what many of us ask ourselves throughout our life. We go through things and we don't understand why. One way to take a step back and try to understand is just to remind ourselves that we only see a piece of the puzzle at a time and that only God can see the completed puzzle before it is completely put together.
We all go through trials and tribulations in life, all of us through different ones. There are many reasons we go through these. One is that we have made bad decisions and we are being chastised for them because they are against the way we should live. Think of it as punishing your child for doing something that is not moral, like stealing. God is the same he punishes us for doing things we should not do like breaking the Ten Commandments.
Other reasons that we have trials and tribulations is to test our faith, build our faith stronger, or give us testimonies to help others come to God. We might not understand any of this at the time, but in the end we will.
We must keep our faith strong regardless of what we go through or what happens in the world as we know it.
"And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him."