While many people have warm and loving memories of their childhood and strong supportive families to rely on during their difficult times, there are others who have very few good memories and come from dysfunctional families. Dysfunctional, now there is a word that is used to soften the impact of the truth, the truth that some families just do not like each other much, do not nurture each other and have no idea of what God intended families to be like.

This time of year is particularly stressful for those from troubled past because it is a time for remembering and what do you do with all of those memories of bad times, physical hurts, years of neglect and emotional upheavals? As with all things human that fail, scars are created, scars that define us as human, scars that can either add to our beauty or fuel our bitterness.

Our lives are not defined by what others do to us, rather, our lives are defined by our response. If we allow hurts to sit inside of us and fester, we can become bitter. Even though we can show great beauty and love to the world, our hearts become twisted and hard.

In this season of joy and remembrance ask the Lord to inspect your heart and remove all of the hurts you hold there, pray for the ability to forgive others as He forgave you.