The Bible has laws, rules, guidelines, and principles depending on what you want to call them. I like the word rule because that is what we call them in football, basketball, and most other sports where we compete with others. The purpose of the rules in sports is to make the event enjoyable for all, to positively enhance the relationship between those competing, and to create an environment of justice or fair play among those competing. In life the rules are made or determined by God, and He is also the enforcer of those rules. When we know the rules of God and obey them we will be rewarded with joy, peace, strength, success, awesome relationships, and we will accomplish a lot with our life. When we violate the rules of God we experience just exactly the opposite. Those who break God’s rules and are living in despair, broken relationships, and little success usually don’t recognize or acknowledge that they are reaping what they have sown, instead they blame anyone and everyone as the cause of their unhappiness.
As I discover the rules for successful living in the Bible and in life, I write them down so I don’t forget them, I make sure I understand them, and I make a commitment everyday to obey them. Several of them are so very important that I review and commit to obey them several times each day. Most of the super important rules seem at times impossible to ever keep successfully.
One of the super important and incredibly hard to keep rules is this one; 1. When someone says something or does something that hurts my feelings, offends me, or makes me angry, even a little bit irritated, I will quickly forgive them, I will not allow negative thoughts toward the person or about the violation of my personal rights to stay in my mind, I will choose to think of something else that is positive and good. If the self-pity feelings and thoughts continue, I will proactively pray for God to bless them and I will do something nice for them.
In the evening when I examine my life for sin and character flaws and confess them to God and ask for His forgiveness, this rule is the one most often broken. When I confess to God that I have messed up once again, I end the time by praying to God and making this commitment, “I will never allow myself to become offended or hurt again”. Then I remind myself of these truths, “children are easily offended, because they are children, but I am a man and I will think and act like a man”, “weak people are easily offended, but I am a man, a strong man, and I will think and act like one”, ” selfish and immature people are easily offended, but I am pressing on to maturity, so I will think and act like I have arrived”. “Oh Lord, I have no chance on my own, I declare You Lord of my life, please grant me Your strength to keep this commitment to You.”
Some question the commitment I make “to never allow myself to become offended or hurt again”, and wonder if it would be better to say, “I will try”. It is my experience that the absolute commitment results in much quicker growth, because as soon as we give ourselves permission to fail, we will.