August 5

Encouragement for Today

 

“A Filing System for Faults” – Part 2

Sharon Jaynes, Vice President of Proverbs 31 Radio, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

 

Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”

 

Devotion:

 

A group of computer experts came together to try to decide whether computers ought to be referred to as male or female.  Like sailors who refer to their ships as “she,” the programmers didn’t want to call their beloved machines an “it.”  The females gathered in one room and the males in another.  The women decided that computers should be referred to as “he” for the following reasons:

 

1)     In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on.

2)     They have a lot of data but are still clueless.

3)     They are supposed to help you solve your problems, but half the time they are the problem.

4)     As soon as you commit to one, you realize that, if you had waited a little longer, you could have had a better model.

 

The men, on the other hand, thought that they should be referred to as “she” because:

 

1)     No one but their creator understands their internal logic.

2)     The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.

3)     As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

4)     Even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later retrieval.

 

Ouch!  I think the men’s number 4 really hits home.  I say we learn how to press the delete button and even empty out the trash bin of resentment we tend to store up for future payback.  Let there be no recycling of deleted files, and pray we aren’t smart enough to figure out how to retrieve them from the hard drive!

 

With any wound comes pain.  It can be as small as a pin prick or as large as an anvil falling on your head, leaving you reeling for days trying to regain your balance.  One option is to hide the hurt, stuff it down, and act as though nothing happened.  That will only work for so long, until the pent-up pressure causes a volcano of emotion to erupt with the hot lava of anger spewing over onto everyone around you.  Just as a physical injury causes a bruise or a wound, an emotional injury causes a wound as well.  It may be small, but even a bump can cause great pain when the soul is jabbed in the same spot time and time again.

 

I always tell ladies who are trying to get organized to clean out their closets with three bags: a put-away bag, a throw-away bag, and a give-away bag.  I also emphasize that it is important to use bags you cannot see through.  Why?  You’re smiling, I can tell.  We tend to go back through the trash and pull things from the bag if we can still see them.  We think, “That sweater isn’t so bad…out it comes.”  We tend to pull things out of the trash with our marriages as well.  I encourage you to let it go.  Holding onto resentment and unforgiveness is simply cluttering up your marriage with stuff you don’t need.

 

Letting go of resentment and choosing to forgive is making a commitment to look ahead and leave the past behind.  This requires a refusal to bring up the offense that has already been forgiven.  Someone once said, “There’s no point in burying the hatchet if you’re going to put up a marker on the site.”

 

My Prayer for Today:

 

Lord, would You search my heart for stored up resentment?  As You expose it, may I be quick and strong to lay it down at Your feet.  May there be no lingering of past files of unforgiveness and no back-up disks of faults collected.  Help me to push the delete button and let it go.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 

Application Steps:

 

Here is a visual exercise in letting go of unforgiveness adapted from Anabel Gillham’s book, The Confident Woman.   You may want to try it.

 

Take a helium-filled balloon to an open field.  With a felt-tip pen, write a word or a few words that denote what you are forgiving your husband of.  Then pray, “Dear Lord, today I am forgiving ________ for________.  No longer will I hold this over his head.  Never again will I bring this up.  I am cutting him loose.  You tell us to cast all our cares on You, and today I am giving You this burden I have been carrying around for quite some time.  As I watch this balloon disappear, please remove any resentment or bitterness from my heart.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

 

Then, release the balloon and watch it drift into the very presence of God.  Every time the thought of that offense returns to your mind, remember that you have given that to God.

 

Reflection Points:

 

These comments are from men who were interviewed for the book, Becoming the Woman of His Dreams.  Think about what the men said …

 

The woman of my dreams understands that what a man wants is a true living example of God’s love.

- John

 

The woman of my dreams is one who is graceful in her demeanor, words, and deeds.  She is one who is not judgmental, does not hold a grudge, and does not continue to bring up past mistakes.

- Eric

 

Describe the woman of my dreams? Ok, she needs patience and lots of it!  Understanding and love go a long way, too.  Please forgive me more often…that’s really all I ask!

- Ron

 

Power Verses:

 

Philippians 3:14, “One thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” (NIV)

 

2 Corinthians 5:18-19, “All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.  And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (NIV)

 

Matthew 5:23-24, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar.  First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (NIV)

 

Proverbs 10:12, “Love covers a multitude of sins.” (NIV).

 

Additional Resources:

 

Becoming the Woman of His Dreams, by Sharon Jaynes

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_becomingTheWoman.htm

 

Capture His Heart, by Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_captureHis.htm

 

The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_fiveLoveLang.htm