January 1st. It’s a culturally recognized event called The First Day of Your New Diet. This time you’re determined to lose those unwanted pounds! You’ve got a plan, you’ve got the drive. Failure is not an option. You’ve already budgeted money for new clothes that will show off the “new you” on Valentine’s Day six weeks from now.
Really, how hard can it be?
Those of us who have rolled on and off diets over the years know the drill. My diet might last a week, maybe to Day 14 or even Day 21. But sooner or later the drive peters out. I can’t stay focused on that new outfit. There is an emptiness inside me that has nothing to do with my stomach, yet food seems to ease the discomfort. In the end, slipping off my diet seems an easier course than exposing and dealing with the real cause of my restless hunger. Perhaps I’ve been betrayed by a loved one, and I haven’t been able to move beyond the pain and anger. Or a cherished dream was shattered by someone’s act of selfishness or cruelty. I might live with the guilt of knowing that I caused another person’s pain, yet I cannot bring myself to ask for forgiveness.
If your new diet isn’t working, you might want to consider what’s lying beneath your hunger. What is it that eats away at your peace and keeps you from feeling full and satisfied? Chances are you’re suffering from a hunger of the soul that requires a soulful remedy. It’s not only calories but bitter feelings and regrets that need to be shed from your life.
God’s remedy for hungry, restless souls is forgiveness. Peace and healing follow when we humble ourselves and ask for the cleansing mercy of God and others we have offended, and when we in turn offer cleansing mercy to those who have offended us. In letting go of our bitter burdens, we lighten our souls, repair damaged relationships, and make room for the finer qualities of living—love and joy, patience and generosity, kindness and peace.
There is nothing magical about forgiveness, although its healing effects can seem miraculous! Forgiveness is a skill that anyone can learn. With practice, forgiveness can become a lifestyle as natural and reflexive as the old habits of anger and resentment have been toward those who offend, betray, or disappoint us.
Why not make 2013 the year when forgiveness helps you to lighten up your soul and let go of the useless baggage that weighs you down? The book, A Devotional Walk with Forgiveness, will show you how. Take the challenge to read and think about forgiveness every day for five weeks. Don’t be surprised if that soul hunger begins to subside as your capacity for joy and peace multiplies!
A Devotional Walk with Forgiveness is available on Amazon Kindle for only $4.99. Click on the following link to order your copy today:
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