Lewis B Smedes Quotes & Wallpapers

Lewis B Smedes
Total Quotes: 104


With a little time, and a little more insight, we begin to see both ourselves and our enemies in humbler profiles. We are not really as innocent as we felt when we were first hurt. And we do not usually have a gigantic monster to forgive; we have a weak, needy, and somewhat stupid human being. When you see your enemy and yourself in the weakness and silliness of the humanity you share, you will make the miracle of forgiving a little easier. Lewis B Smedes
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Vengeance is having a videotape planted in your soul that cannot be turned off. It plays the painful scene over and over again inside your mind...And each time it plays you feel the clap of pain again...Forgiving turns off the videotape of pained memory Forgiving sets you free. Lewis B Smedes
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To miss out on joy is to miss out on the reason for your existence. Lewis B Smedes
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What is a disloyal act? A person is disloyal if he treats you as a stranger when, in fact, he belongs to you as a friend or partner. Each of us is bound to some special others by the invisible fibers of loyalty. Lewis B Smedes
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Our society is pluralistic. We who accept the privilege of membership in that society agree to respect the people's right to live by their own religious precepts. Lewis B Smedes
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Gratitude is the best feeling I would ever have, the ultimate joy of living. Lewis B Smedes
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Any moment that opens us up to the reality that life is good is a parable of the supreme end for which we were made. Lewis B Smedes
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God is the original, master forgiver. Each time we grope our reluctant way through the minor miracle of forgiving, we are imitating his style. I am not at all sure that any of us would have had imagination enough to see the possibilities in this way to heal the wrongs of this life had he not done it first. Lewis B Smedes
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I am certain that people never forgive because they believe they have an obligation to do it or because someone told them to do it. Forgiveness has to come from inside as a desire of the heart. Wanting to is the steam that pushes the forgiving engine. Lewis B Smedes
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The moment of grace comes to us in the dynamics of any situation we walk into. It is an opportunity that God sews into the fabric of a routine situation. It is a chance to do something creative, something helpful, something healing, something that makes one unmarked spot in the world better off for our having been there. We catch it if we are people of discernment. Lewis B Smedes
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The God who has the whole world in his hands has grace for the whole world in his heart. Lewis B Smedes
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Our sense of fairness tells us that people should pay for the wrong they do. Lewis B Smedes
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Common sense suggests that if no one ever judged other people, there would be no real human community. Lewis B Smedes
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Retributive justice did not arise from any Christian principle; almost every pre-Christian society dealt with wrongdoers by causing them pain. Lewis B Smedes
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Some people still have causes they will not desert, even though the cause seems lost. Lewis B Smedes
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My father was only thirty-one when he died of a heart attack, much too young for a father to die and leave his young wife with five rambunctious little kids to take care of. I was the youngest. Only a couple of months old when he died. Lewis B Smedes
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Nobody sees reality whole; we all need others to show us the parts of it that they see better than we do. Nobody sees reality with total accuracy; we all need others to correct our own vision. Lewis B Smedes
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When we forgive someone, we do not forget the hurtful act, as if forgetting came along with the forgiveness package, the way strings come with a violin. Begin with the basics. If you forget, you will not forgive at all. You can never forgive people for things you have forgotten about. You need to forgive precisely because you have not forgotten what someone did; your memory keeps the pain alive long after the hurt has stopped. Remembering is the storage of pain. It is why you need to be healed in the first place. Lewis B Smedes
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Forgiving is tough. Excusing is easy. What a mistake it is to confuse forgiving with being mushy, soft, gutless, and oh, so understanding. Before we forgive, we stiffen our spine and we hold a person accountable. And only then, in tough-minded judgment, can we do the outrageously impossible thing: we can forgive. Lewis B Smedes
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You can forgive someone almost anything. But you cannot tolerate everything...We don't have to tolerate what people do just because we forgive them for doing it. Forgiving heals us personally. To tolerate everything only hurts us all in the long run. Lewis B Smedes
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If we say that monsters [people who do terrible evil] are beyond forgiving, we give them a power they should never have...they are given the power to keep their evil alive in the hearts of those who suffered most. We give them power to condemn their victims to live forever with the hurting memory of their painful pasts. We give the monsters the last word. Lewis B Smedes
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Any lazy or biased fool can have opinions; making judgments is the hard work of responsible and compassionate people. Lewis B Smedes
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Some people have loved ones they will not forsake, even though they are a pain in the neck. Lewis B Smedes
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Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future. Lewis B Smedes
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It takes one person to forgive, it takes two people to be reunited. Lewis B Smedes
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The Holy Spirit, thank God, often enables people to forgive even though they are not sure how they did it. Lewis B Smedes
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As I read the New Testament, I find only one path to salvation - the path of an informed faith in Jesus Christ. Lewis B Smedes
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The right to personal privacy is precious. Without it, we are all potential victims for a prying secret police. Lewis B Smedes
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I believe that we should, on biblical grounds, tell all parents of mentally disabled children that God loves their children, regrets terribly that they are disabled, and will, when they die, carry them gently into a heavenly life where every person is forever whole. Lewis B Smedes
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Jesus said that we should render to the state what properly belongs to the state, and though he had taxes in mind, we might reasonably infer that giving the state the job of punishing wrongdoers is one way of giving the state its due. Lewis B Smedes
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Nothing is more private than a woman's body; it is her physical, emotional, and moral citadel. She cannot be free at all if she is not free to decide for herself, in private, what to do with her body. Lewis B Smedes
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Sometimes I like to list the strongest arguments I can find to support a point of view I think is wrong. When I have them before me, I am up against a real opponent rather than a hypothetical one that is an easy target for me to hit. Lewis B Smedes
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Kindness is the power that moves us to support and heal someone who offers nothing in return. Lewis B Smedes
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Once we have forgiven, however, we get a new freedom to forget. This time forgetting is a sign of health; it is not a trick to avoid spiritual surgery. We can forget because we have been healed. But even if it is easier to forget after we forgive, we should not make forgetting a test of our forgiving. The test of forgiving lies with healing the lingering pain of the past, not with forgetting the past has ever happened. Lewis B Smedes
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Can you stop your memory on a dime, put it in reverse, and spin it in another direction the way you can reverse direction on a tape recorder? We cannot forget on command. So we just have to let the forgetting happen as it will; we shouldn't rush it, and we certainly should not doubt the genuineness of our forgiving if we happen to remember. The really important thing is that we have the power to forgive what we still do remember. Lewis B Smedes
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The difference between guilt and shame is very clear-in theory. We feel guilty for what we do. We feel shame for what we are. A person feels guilt because he did something wrong. A person feels shame because he is something wrong. We may feel guilty because we lied to our mother. We may feel shame because we are not the person our mother wanted us to be. Lewis B Smedes
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The problem with revenge is that it never gets what it wants; it never evens the score. Fairness never comes. The chain reaction set off by every act of vengeance always takes its unhindered course. It ties both the injured and the injurer to an escalator of pain...Why do family feuds go on and on?...the reason is simple: no two people, no two families, ever weigh pain on the same scale. Lewis B Smedes
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Gandhi was right: if we all live by 'an eye for an eye' the whole world will be blind. The only way out is forgiveness. Lewis B Smedes
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Not even God can make something fair out of what is intrinsically unfair. Only one thing can be done. Something must break through the crust of unfairness and create a chance for a new fairness. Only forgiveness can make the breakthrough. Lewis B Smedes
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Forgive a wife-slammer if you can. But you don't have to live with him. Forgive a husband who is abusing your children if you can. But only after you kick him out of the house. And if you can't get him out, get help. It's available. In the meantime, don't let him near the kids, and don't let anyone tell you that if you forgive him it means you have to stay with him. [There's an important difference between forgiving a person and tolerating their bad behavior.] Lewis B Smedes
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We are anxious in the face of our unchangeable past; we long to recreate segments of our private histories, but we are stuck with them. Lewis B Smedes
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Because arrogance is born in personal vanity, arrogant people are driven without mercy. They can never get enough power to fill the soul's needs or enough respect to overcome the fear that they deserve less than they are getting. Lewis B Smedes
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Some people still make promises and keep those they make. When they do, they help make life around them more stably human. Lewis B Smedes
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Modern Americans suffer from a fear of judging. Passing judgment on the behavior of fellow human beings is considered an act of medieval, undemocratic intolerance. Lewis B Smedes
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When you give up vengeance, make sure you are not giving up on justice. The line between the two is faint, unsteady, and fine...Vengeance is our own pleasure of seeing someone who hurt us getting it back and then some. Justice, on the other hand, is secure when someone pays a fair penalty for wronging another even if the injured person takes no pleasure in the transaction. Vengeance is personal satisfaction. Justice is moral accounting...Human forgiveness does not do away with human justice. Lewis B Smedes
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Forgiving is love's toughest work, and love's biggest risk. If you twist it into something it was never meant to be, it can make you a doormat or an insufferable manipulator. Forgiving seems almost unnatural. Our sense of fairness tells us people should pay for the wrong they do. But forgiving is love's power to break nature's rule. Lewis B Smedes
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We attach our feelings to the moment when we were hurt, endowing it with immortality. And we let it assault us every time it comes to mind. It travels with us, sleeps with us, hovers over us while we make love, and broods over us while we die. Our hate does not even have the decency to die when those we hate die-for it is a parasite sucking OUR blood, not theirs. There is only one remedy for it. [forgiveness] Lewis B Smedes
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At the cross, God was punishing Jesus for the sins of the world. God's justice required a penalty from sinners, and in his unspeakable love, he paid the penalty himself in the person of his crucified Son. Lewis B Smedes
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Some people ask who they are and expect their feelings to tell them. But feelings are flickering flames that fade after every fitful stimulus. Some people ask who they are and expect their achievements to tell them. But the things we accomplish always leave a core of character unrevealed. Some people ask who they are and expect visions of their ideal self to tell them. But our visions can only tell us what we want to be, not what we are Lewis B Smedes
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We feel guilty for what we do. We feel shame for what we are. Lewis B Smedes
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Forgiving is love's toughest work, and love's biggest risk. Lewis B Smedes
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I worry about fast forgivers. They tend to forgive quickly in order to avoid their pain. Or they forgive fast in order to get an advantage over the people they forgive. And their instant forgiving only makes things worse... People who have been wronged badly and wounded deeply should give themselves time and space before they forgive... There is a right moment to forgive. We cannot predict it in advance; we can only get ourselves ready for it when it arrives... Don't do it quickly, but don't wait too long. Lewis B Smedes
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Forgiving is, first of all, a way of helping yourself to get free of the unfair pain somebody caused you. Lewis B Smedes
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Human sexuality includes more than hormones, organs, and orgasms; it runs through the psychic and spiritual ranges of our lives. We experience our sexuality on the spiritual level as a yearning for another person. We want to reach out and stretch ourselves into the depths of another. We want to bring the other person into the orbit of our deepest selves. We want to probe into the mystery of the other. Lewis B Smedes
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The only way to heal the pain which will not heal itself is to forgive the person who hurt you. Forgiveness heals the memory's vision. ... You set a prisoner free, but you discover the real prisoner was yourself. Lewis B Smedes
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Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Lewis B Smedes
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Hope is to our spirits what oxygen is to our lungs. Lose hope and you die. They may not bury you for awhile, but without hope you are dead inside. The only way to face the future is to fly straight into it on the wings of hope....hope is the energy of the soul. Hope is the power of tomorrow. Lewis B Smedes
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I am personally thankful that we live together in a large moral house even if we do not drink at the same fountain of faith. The world we experience together is one world, God's world, and our world, and the problems we share are common human problems. So we can talk together, try to understand each other, and help each other. Lewis B Smedes
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Restorative justice is not a replacement of retributive justice, but a complement. It seeks the rehabilitation of the wrongdoer and the repair of the victim's injury. Lewis B Smedes
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Seeing reality for what it is is what we call discernment. The work of discernment is very hard. Lewis B Smedes
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No doubt, corporate CEOs who lie to their shareholders and politicians who lie to their public know and believe intellectually that lying is immoral. Why then do they lie? They lie to others because they first lie to themselves. Lewis B Smedes
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Our history is an inevitable component of our being. One thing only can release us from the grip of our history. That one thing is forgiveness. Lewis B Smedes
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You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well. Lewis B Smedes
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When we have been badly injured and clearly wronged, we make an instant caricature of the person who did it to us. We define him totally by the one wrong he did. Lewis B Smedes
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Forgiveness is the key that can unshackle us from a past that will not rest in the grave of things over and done with. As long as our minds are captive to the memory of having been wronged, they are not free to wish for reconciliation with the one who wronged us. Lewis B Smedes
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The longer we hate, the harder it is to heal us. Lewis B Smedes
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Don't do it quickly, but don't wait too long... If we wait too long to forgive, our rage settles in and claims squatter's rights to our souls. Lewis B Smedes
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The secret of grace is that it can be all right at the center even when it is all wrong on the edges. Lewis B Smedes
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I have discovered that most people who tell me that they cannot forgive a person who wronged them are handicapped by a mistaken understanding of what forgiving is. Lewis B Smedes
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A wise judge may let mercy temper justice but may not let mercy undo it. Lewis B Smedes
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