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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday message- the struggle of forgiveness

I have had to put into the hands of God this morning the concept- and the deed- of forgiveness.  Someone has, in my opinion, wronged me.  Not in some terrible spiritual, physical, or financial way.  Not even verbally.

I struggle to explain this in a way that doesn't expose this person, for that would be vengeance.  Perhaps the best way would be to describe something I saw on FB last night.  A dear lady I know reported that two "friends" had unfriended and blocked her for the "heinous" crime of daring to question them on some political belief.  A lot of that has gone on this season, unfortunately.  We tie so much of our fragile egos into these "political beliefs"- or denominational beliefs, or whatever it is that has become our sacred cow- that we cannot bear it when someone DOESN'T hold the same beliefs.  Some of us suck it up, consider the other position, and respond accordingly.  Some of us get hostile, pouring bile and vitriol into a conversation that really doesn't need it.

And some of us cry "heresy", and run away.

Because we have asked of others, as a condition of our friendship, to hide that part of the other person away- to pretend they are something they are not, so I MYSELF can pretend they are something they are not.  The illusion we have celebrated in our "modern" society as, "don't ask, don't tell." And when that person shatters the illusion, they must be "unfriended".

And now, as I always do, I have had spots of lying awake trying to decide by which of many ways I would expose my own friend of this "heinous" crime.  Even as I type, I am deleting parts that would cast him in a worse light- not for his sake, but for my own.  Because the burden of forgiveness lies with ME.

It is a hollow forgiveness that would bring it to God at some point after I publish the damning expose that my mind badgers me to write.  Because forgiveness is not the battle between he and I, it is a battle with MYSELF.  Like much of the world, I would like nothing better than to cast the first stone and nail him with it, THEN apologize, so that I can maintain the illusion that I am forgiving him for the wrong when I am really apologizing for the stone.

Which makes me culpable of the EXACT SAME CRIME, doesn't it?

So lack of forgiveness necessitates illusion.  I wonder how many things about business, about politics, about LIFE, are explained in that.

Lord, let me put this event into YOUR hands, that I might forgive and be forgiven by You.  Help me to realize that, while setting things "straight" might be a goal of mine, it is NOT a goal of Yours.  I accept that every single time a door has closed in the name of Your Will, there has been a good reason for it.  Lead me not to look for the reasons of it, but just give it to You.  And forgive me for when I have required what was not necessary of others.  Help those who read this to understand that I am not asking for anyone to come to "my cause", but to understand that forgiveness is more than just a backwards glance and a half-meant "it's okay".  And please help me to bear with the bruises I will receive as I try to beat this thing out of my own hands and into Yours.


6 comments:

  1. Chris:
    I think that forgiveness is something we never seem to ask for, at least not in the proper way, if there is one.
    I have a huge problem with this, and God knows I am at loggerheads daily with it (among those other human foibles).
    Some days, I wish I could forgive much, if not all of the injustices I see around us (and too often rail about).
    I also ask for forgiveness in the manner in which I react to what comes along in my life. THAT is often burdensome, but is also a part of being "just human".
    I believe that as long AS we struggle, there is hope, and in that hope, a measure of faith to help us through the struggle.
    I hope this makes some sense (had other stuff on my mind).
    Very good and insightful post.

    Do stay safe up there, brother.

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    1. Me too... see the comments section on TM to see what.

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  2. Forgiveness isn't something some people are able to do, asking God to help you forgive to me makes a lot of sense, forgiveness isn't about the other person as much as it is about my peace of mine. I can forgive others for being stupid narrow minded idiots which may be one of the reasons I am still happily married to Tim..........

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    1. Lord, that we could all make such a partnership work out, lol!

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  3. Here's a link to a good essay on the topic.

    http://www.word-sunday.com/Files/a/23-a/A-23-a.html

    I occasionally have troubles like this myself, although as even-tempered and good-natured as I am, it might be hard for the average person to accept that such a thing is even possible. Fortunately, I'm dealing with an above average person.

    So if the other person is a Christian, you'll know what to do. If not, well, you can try it anyway, but it probably won't work.

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    1. Well, unfortunately the whole thing went pear shaped, and I have my part of the fault. I am not full of grace enough to take "let me rip you in public, but you don't respond and we can be friends" yet, unfortunately.

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