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Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Lenten Healing: 40 Graces for Forgiveness (Day 22: Selfishness)

Oh, here’s another one I’d so much prefer to skip. Can we just agree that I’m selfish and leave it at that?
Kidding, God. Just kidding…
I used to have anger issues. In attempting to eradicate them I have discovered that at least 99.9% of my episodes of anger are 100% self-centered. A friend who went through counseling for anger told me to ask myself, when I’m angry, what it is I want and am not getting.
Holy smoking ears, Batman. Is that ever an illuminating exercise.
I want that other car to get the heck out of the left lane and out of my way because I am late and he is making me more late!
I want my children to stop spilling their beverages and creating more work for me!
I want my husband to interpret, “No, nothing is wrong,” to mean, “Of course something is wrong, and you should already know what it is!!!”
Why yes, I do think I’m the center of the universe.
Actually, I’ve come a long road in expunging anger from my life, by way of post-partum depression, a year of medication, some good therapy, and the unbelievable kindness of a God who knows and sees and heals. More on that here.
But the places I still harbor unforgiveness also cohabit with anger. Why am I angry? Because I’m not getting something I want: justice, respect, admiration, validation, my rights.
Unforgiveness is rooted deep and determinedly in selfishness.

* * *

For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. – James 3:16

* * *

Thank you for all you’ve already done to extract anger from my life, God. It’s pretty remarkable how different I am today than I was a dozen years ago, at least with respect to the internal temperature of my moods. Keep at it, please. Scrub more and more selfishness out of me. Shine your holy laser pointer on each dark corner inside me where I harbor thoughts about my rights and my image and my happiness. I’m pretty sure that the less selfish I am the less unforgiveness I’ll hang on the hooks of my heart, too.

40 Graces for Forgiveness: a Healing Journey is now available in print. $6.49 at

With questions for personal meditation and space for journaling, this 40-day devotional series offers a deeper look at Christ's command that we forgive. For a personal pilgrimage, or as a resource for group Bible study,40 Graces for Forgiveness: a Healing Journey invites seekers of forgiveness and healing to the path on which God longs to meet us all. $6.49 at Find out more about 40 Graces for Forgiveness: a Healing Journey.

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