By Pastor Joe Palmer
Fellowship Baptist Church
Believing that God is good and that He loves me and that I am forgiven because of Jesus Christ, establishes me in a position of ultimate security. I need people, but I do not have to demand that they fulfill my longings for happiness and hope.
If other people’s actions and words determined whether I was happy or not, then eventually I would find myself in conflict with everyone in my life. No one always acts and speaks in ways which satisfy me. If I were totally dependent on others, then I would eventually end up saying (in so many words), “I hate you, because you failed me!” Isn’t this essentially the way we are thinking when we are angrily in conflict with others?
If, however, God is the foundation for my happiness, then I do not need to depend too heavily on other people. Sure, people will disappoint me and hurt me, but when they do I can recover from the pain and say, “I accept you, and I don’t need you to be different.” There are, of course, qualifications for saying this. You don’t let evil people go on hurting you badly; you get out of their way. But we can forgive anyone anything in light of how much God has forgiven us through Jesus Christ. And with respect to those family members and friends who just irritate you with their ways, let us grin, bear it, and love them just the way they are.
If you find this hard to do, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.