Monday, September 17, 2012

Remembering Others

Later when the anger of King Xerxes had subsided, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what he had decreed about her” Esther 2:1.

In the Book of Esther we continue to follow the actions and consequences of a king who was led by the opinions of those who surrounded him. Four years earlier, he had been strongly encouraged to permanently ban his wife from his presence. He jumped on the ‘ban’ wagon and Queen Vashti no longer held her position. Years later, after much water under the bridge and the calming of his emotions, he was more able to see his part in the previous circumstances. My Bible Study states that ‘to remember implies a note of compassion, that Ahasuerus [King Xerxes] has become melancholy in the absence of his wife and regretful of the severity of her punishment’ p. 37.

If we are walking on planet Earth we have all experienced our own version of Xerxes and Vashti, the one who wounds and the wounded…the inflictor and the inflicted. Most likely, we have all been on both sides of the fence and neither feel good. When we are the recipient of another person’s anger, we feel the judgment and long for mercy. When we are the one with the anger, we live with the peripheral emotions of judging and condeming. Justified or not, anger can cause an array of distorted thinking prompting a series of horrible decisions. When our anger subsides and the waters are once again calm, hopefully we are able to see things with a better sense of understanding and consideration. The reality of our past situations are never the complete truths of our perceptions. Emotions always speak lies to the heart which is when the Holy Spirit takes over if we allow Him access.

When surrendering our anger to the Holy Spirit, who will sort out the emotions of our soul, we give Him the license to tenderly show us new truths about an old hurt. We allow Him to gently open our tightly fisted grasp on past circumstances and remove the power for which it enslaves us. Once King Xerxes had moved beyond his anger and resentment, his reflection upon the situation moved his heart to a new place. He was indeed regretful of the severity of the punishment he inflicted upon her. The Holy Spirit cannot sort and remove what is never surrendered. We gain freedom from whatever we surrender to the Spirit. ‘Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom’ 2 Co. 3:17.

We all have a choice in every situation with every person on earth. ‘This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life…and that you may love…’ Deut 30:19.

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