I can still hear my dad’s voice in my head even though he has been absent from this earth for over 20 years. He was a pastor who in many ways was “old fashioned” by today’s standards, but was a wonderful man. Though not perfect, he loved serving the Lord and encouraging others to do the same.
When I read my Bible, I am reminded of the benedictions (prayers of blessing) with which he ended his services. I have discovered that many of them came straight out of scripture. It always gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling when I run across one of them.
Even though my dad wasn’t perfect (as is the case for most of us), I have a choice in how I remember him. I can look back through eyes of gratitude and thankfulness that he was a dad who stayed in my life; who loved the Lord; who did his best to provide for us; and loved us in the way he understood. Or, I can choose to remember him for the areas in which he fell short.
Let me ask you this: Of what profit is it to pull up the negative? I can’t hit a rewind button… and undo things that were said, or done, or not done. Dwelling on the negative only fills me with anger, bitterness, disappointments, and/or regrets. That, in turn, pours toxins into my body through my hypothalamus, which can physically weaken and destroy healthy God-Created cells which can result in disease, depression or even death. The choice is mine.
I choose life!
As Father’s Day approached, I chose to remember my dad through God’s eyes. I chose to focus on the things that were good and thank God that as my Heavenly Father, HE was and is able to fill in and heal those areas where, perhaps, my earthly father fell short. God is able and WANTS to do that for each of us.
I do remember one of my earthly father’s favorite phrases that has kept me out of a lot of trouble on many occasions. It has also helped me look for the best in myself and in others. So that is what I would like to leave with you today: “If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything at all.”
Obviously, there are circumstances when this cannot apply. However when it can, it is certainly a helpful tool in relationship building.
I understand that for some of us, thinking back on our earthly father is simply too painful in this season; and it’s hard to pull up any positive memories. If that is the case for you, here is something on which you can dwell:
Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:12-13
My friends, you are chosen; you are valuable; and you are loved beyond measure by the ONE who can heal and bring total restoration – your real FATHER.
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Lovely sentiment, Nita, and a great reminder of the best way to live. When we are grateful, look for the best in others, and recognize God as our perfect Father, life is just better1