Posts Tagged With: casting crowns

The Realization that will Help you Forgive Anyone Who Ever Hurt You

“It’s the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those that don’t deserve

Even when the jury and the judge
Say you gotta right to hold a grudge
It’s the whisper in your ear saying ‘Set It Free’ “

-Matthew West, Forgiveness


When Jesus was hanging on the cross, why did he say, “Father, forgive them, they are blind fools they know not what they do.”

How could they not know what they are doing? They consciously chose to be there, to make the long walk up to the Calvary hill, to drive the nails through His flesh. How could they not know?

Maybe what Jesus meant was they didn’t know He was the Son of God, and if they knew, or rather, believed that he really was the Savior, things would have ended differently.

I don’t think that’s all Jesus meant. I think it goes much deeper. He’s not just asking God to forgive the men who hung Him on the cross, He’s asking God to forgive every human and every sin and every hurt ever inflicted.

In most cases it’s not that we don’t know the difference between right and wrong, at least if we really sat down and thought about it. It’s that we are completely incapable of going through our lives without sinning, without doing wrong, without hurting people.

If we could, we’d never need a Savior to begin with.

We are all of us, fallen, sinful, broken people.

Fallen, sinful, broken people in need of Jesus.

Why is this the realization that will help you forgive anyone who ever hurt you?

I propose this because through this lens, you look at your overly critical mother, your absent father, your sibling betrayal, your thief of a friend, your teacher who embarrassed you, your boss who blamed you, that stranger who sexually assaulted you, that trusted mentor who stopped standing up for you…

And on the other side of that lens, what is left? The cross. And our desperate need for it.

Forgiving someone is not saying IT’S OKAY or IT DIDN’T MATTER. It’s saying IT DID MATTER but with the acknowledgement that humans disappoint other humans. It’s saying we cannot hold our fellow humans to the standards only Jesus can meet. It’s simply understanding that the person who hurt us needs Jesus, and He responded and died on the cross for them. He was whipped and beaten not just for our sin, but for theirs too. And once we start looking at them through Jesus’ eyes, forgiveness becomes inevitable. The anger begins to fade and a level of compassion begins to form.

We don’t forgive, because the person deserves it, we forgive, to release them to the cross. We set them free, and in turn become free ourselves. 

That person who hurt you? It wasn’t okay. But God is still at work in them, He’s not done yet. And more importantly he’s not done with you yet either.  Jesus is filling empty seats and holding open doors and mending broken hearts.

Who do you need to forgive? Do you think looking through the eyes of heaven rather than the eyes of the world can help you achieve this?


This song “Just Another Birthday” by Casting Crowns, is heartbreaking yet beautiful. It’s an example of pointing to the cross in the midst of brokenness and emptiness and allowing Him to fill the holes left in our hearts be fellow humans.

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According to Your Faith

”The Bible says in Matthew 9:29 “According to your faith it will be done unto you.” That’s one of my favorite verses in the Bible. What are you expecting God to do in your life? This is the law that God has established. It’s called the Law of Expectation. The fact is, we tend to get what we expect out of life. We tend to see what we expect to see. We tend to hear what we expect to hear. We tend to feel the way we expect to feel. We inevitably accomplish what we expect what we’re going to accomplish. This is the law of faith. God says you get to choose. Because “According to your faith it will be done unto you.”

– Rick Warren


Jesus talked a lot about faith in his time on Earth, and examples of its power go back to the beginning of the Old Testament. We are told that with faith the size of a mustard seed we could tell a mountain to move from here to there and it would move, and nothing shall be impossible for us (Matthew 17:20), and that if we tell a mountain to be taken up and cast into the sea, it shall happen (Matthew 21:21). Jesus healed people, and told them it was their faith that made them well (Mark 10:52), and again we are reminded of what we can accomplish, that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13). All things, not some things, but all. After all, if God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31)? We can walk through life re-assured, because greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4), and no weapon formed against us shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17). He wants us to be the head, not the tail, on top, not the bottom (Deuteronomy 28:13).

I declare these verses out loud on the way to work every morning. I declare His blessings and favor over my day and thank Him for already being at the end of the day waiting for me, thanking Him for things He has done before they even play out in my life. In doing this, I notice those blessings pour out and my mood is better, I’m happier and more positive.

When I take a step back and look over my life and how far I’ve come, over the past year, the past two years, five years… I’m amazed at the growth. I’m amazed at where I am today. In many ways I’ve worked very hard to get here, but there are also many situations and blessings that I couldn’t have done anything about, that had to fall into my lap so to speak.

Maybe that’s what faith is about, maybe it means we can’t do everything on our own, but it also means we can’t just sit back and expect God to hand us everything out of thin air. Maybe God helps those who help themselves. Maybe we have to do everything we possibly can, and then when we can’t do anything more, when we are at the end of our abilities and resources, we then lift our gaze to heaven and trust God to do what only He can.

Image     The Secret was a film and best-selling self-help book from 2006 displaying the power of thought and the law of attraction. Everything we could want or ask for we can attract through our daily thoughts and focus. If we think positive, we attract positivity. If we have a negative outlook, more negativity comes our way. This can be life-changing and affect wealth, health, and happiness. What you seek you will find. This concept is based on science and brainwaves and frequencies.

The funny thing is, this scientific concept, this eye-opening phenomenon that grabbed the attention of millions, has been around for a couple thousand years.

 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” -Matthew 7:7

     It’s funny how today we see things as either science or religion, one or the other, right or left, yes or no. Maybe it’s both. In Rob Bell’s video “Everything is Spiritual” he suggests the answer is simply, “Yep.” It’s both.

“Is it science or is it religion?”


       Maybe we have more control over our lives than we think. We can do more and go farther than our circumstances suggest. Maybe what it takes is faith. Faith, backed with a humility as mentioned in Matthew 18:2-4, to be child-like, humble and teachable, without pride or haughtiness. To know that we can’t do it on our own, that we need Him, and then believe that He will show up.

      So, will we climb out of the boat we are in, and step out of our comfort zone, onto the crashing waves where Jesus is holding out his hand?

     Will we stand before a giant with just a sling and a stone, surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors shaking in their armor?

     If we can ignore the world laughing at us and reminding us of all the times we’ve failed, and choose to listen to the voice of truth, maybe we’ll find the stone was just the right size to put the giant on the ground, and the waves don’t seem so high from the top of them looking down. 

Are you walking by faith today?

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Part of a stained glass masquerade

How easy it is for us to judge someone without ever walking a mile in their shoes. Being around them, spending time with them, knowing them, being their friend…isn’t enough. Why? Because we are all made different. Our personalities are different. Our hearts are different, have different wounds.. We all have personal, individual reasons that we are the way we are… what makes us tick and why… our intentions, how we cope, how we deal with things… what causes pain to us that another person wouldn’t even blink at.. what causes others pain that seem strange to us..

Just because we don’t understand something, or what someone is doing, how does that give us any right to judge?

Just because someone is acting in a way we can’t understand, does that make it invalid? Does that make it unreasonable? Just because we can’t understand?

Your girlfriend, that can’t commit to anything? Maybe she has experienced more loss in her short life than you can comprehend, and she doesn’t even know how to put both feet in anymore. Maybe what they need from you is proof that putting both feet in won’t make everything blow up in her face, that you love her no matter where her feet are. That your love is true.

Your friend that you’re so angry with, because they don’t care? Maybe they care sooo much that it’s overwhelming them. Maybe they don’t deal well with conflict, and sometimes don’t know how to do anything but shut it out, live under a banner of avoidance. Maybe what they need is your support. Maybe what they need is for you to let them know it’ll be okay, it’s not the end of the world.

As Casting Crowns sings, “If we are the body, why aren’t His arms reaching, why aren’t His hands healing, why aren’t His words teaching, and if we are the body, why aren’t His feet going, why is His love not showing..” These lyrics also say, “A traveler is far away from home, He sheds his coat, And quietly sinks into the back row, The weight of their judgmental glances tells him that his chances, Are better out on the road…”

Let us NOT just be a stained glass masquerade.  I will not be just a stained glass masquerade.

We cannot, as Christians, say we want to be like Jesus in one breath, and in the next breath…put judgment on one of His precious children. We cannot pretend to read minds, to understand hearts.. only He can. If we truly trust in our Lord we won’t condemn others for being different, instead we will embrace others how He made them.

I invite you today, instead of jumping to conclusions, instead of assuming intentions, instead of being self-righteous.. instead of making Jesus’s people fit in your box, why don’t you try and find His. Or rather, realize that God doesn’t have a box. And neither do His people.

This saddens me. And being on the misunderstood side, it hurts. It hurts to realize you can’t trust anyone on this earth, anyone but my God. It hurts to realize that friends really aren’t. That most people in this world aren’t even capable of it. It’s hard to see someone believe something so completely about you that is so far from the truth you feel like they are stealing part of your soul. It hurts.

Today I thank God  for the few friends I can count on in this world, that do not judge me, that do not immediately expect something in return, but know that real friendship is a lifetime of give and take, and in some seasons, one may give more than the other, because one may be in more need than the other.  And I pray for those who are spiritually young and don’t grasp this yet, that You may continue with them on their journey to wisdom, compassion, and open eyes.

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