Let’s be clear…forgiveness doesn’t mean that I have to trust you or allow you in my life, and it doesn’t mean that you’re safe or will ever change. It doesn’t mean that I have to reconcile with you or feel guilty for picking up my pearls and refusing to waste another second of my life waiting on you to decide if or when you will change.
Forgiveness means I’m releasing you to God and freeing myself up for relationships that honor the responsibilities that come with the privileges of me. I’m not mad, I’m not sad and I’m not holding a grudge. I’m holding boundaries that honor my value and remove people from my life who want the privileges of me without the responsibilities of me. You don’t have to like my boundaries, but you will respect them. Period.
Christianity has been intricately intertwined with the history and formation of Western society. Throughout its long history, the Church has been a major source of social services like schooling and medical care; an inspiration for art, culture and philosophy; and an influential player in politics and religion.
Words that are often associated with religious beliefs include connectedness, hope, optimism, trust and purpose. All of which have been shown to boost mental health. Compassion, forgiveness and gratefulness are also qualities that are strongly associated with individuals who are spiritual and religious.
Wow! What a year! While many things that happened may have been a surprise to me, they were not at all to God. He knew exactly what trials and tribulations we were going to face. He knew what happy and joyous things were going to happen. God had it already planned out before it began. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.(Psalm 139:16) I find great comfort and security in knowing that God has my life planned out exactly how he wants it
We just have to trust God and surrender our lives completely to Him. I can enjoy an intimate walk with The One Who is intimately involved in each minor detail of my day (Psalm 139:1-4 )
Meaningful, positive experiences can be found in many different contexts, but some of the most common and impactful experiences include:
Falling in love
The birth of a child
The birth of a grandchild
A reconciliation or reunion with a loved one
Immersing yourself in a new culture or way of life
The first time you make a big, life-altering decision for yourself
Showing someone the depth of your feelings for them, or receiving this expression of feelings
Although the big ones are likely the ones your mind went to first, meaning can also be found in many of the small moments in life, such as:
A child taking your hand for the first time, or giving you a completely voluntary and enthusiastic hug
Running into a friend you haven’t seen in a while
Experiencing a new culture on a vacation or humanitarian trip
A loved one expressing their gratitude for you
Coming home to a happy, loving pet
Quitting something that makes you unhappy
Enjoying some unexpected time alone
Realizing you’ve mastered a difficult skill
Hopping in the car for a spontaneous road trip (“9 Meaningful Moments”, 2023)
Remember to pause and look for meaning in moments big and small. It’s so often the little moments that we remember for years after we experience them.
Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice. — Psalm 55:17
While many believers sincerely desire to spend time with God in prayer, few actually do. Spiritual discipline is necessary to make prayer a priority in our lives. God, however, has made prayer a priority—directing his children to pray first, often and always. Therefore, prayer should become a priority for us!
Scripture speaks repeatedly of the importance of prayer. Paul says to pray about everything (Philippians 4:6). Believers should make all requests known to God. In addition, believers are admonished to pray regularly and frequently. David promised the Lord, “Evening, morning and noon I cry out” (Psalm 55:17). Jesus prayed for extended periods of time, especially when making important decisions (Luke 6:12). Certainly when facing challenges or trials, a believer should pray (James 5:13). Paul exhorted the Christians in Thessalonica to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Prayer becomes not only an attitude of the heart but also a continual dialogue with the Lord.
When praying, take time to be still and hear a word from God (Psalm 46:10). The Bible dictates no specific time or place for prayer. However, a believer may find it easier to maintain the priority of prayer when she establishes a definite time and place to pray as part of her daily schedule (Luke 18:1).
Prayer should occupy a place in the heart; it also needs a place in the home. While every believer does not need a prayer closet (Matthew 6:6), all believers should have a place of solitude free from distraction in order to pray in private.
To help make prayer a priority, you may want to use a prayer journal or devotional book or write out a prayer list and revise it often. Share your commitment to prayer with others, both to encourage them and to hold yourself accountable for praying regularly.