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Monday, November 29, 2010

Part II

Holy people are supposed to forgive. A Christian lives differently. He answers to a higher calling. But sometimes it doesn't happen. He bleeds and hurts and gets stuck in unforgiveness. It is unnatural to look the other way and forgive. We naturally hang onto grudges and remember how we got hurt. We feel the pain. It stings. People do need to be held accountable for their actions. At the same time we can also forgive them so that the action doesn't keep replaying over and over again in our minds. If someone steals something they need to give it back or make restitution. I can forgive them for their bad choice, and it would also make sense to protect my belongings and not lend to that person. It's good to set healthy boundaries.

The choice to forgive exonerates me from resentment and hate. It liberates me from living in the trap of  wrong emotional ties. People hurt people sometimes because they are hurting and have lots of baggage they don't know how to unpack, or just don't want to do the hard work. Forgiveness doesn't get entangled in another person's unresolved issues. It buries me in a new life.   

Monday, November 22, 2010

Love Someone Enough To Use The “F” Word

I am in a room filled with beautiful brilliant light from the morning sun that radiates rays of joy through the window pane. A sweet feeling sweeps over me as I stand in the warmth. Walking over to the window, I reach up for the little plastic ring connected to the bottom of the roman shade and with great ease of motion, pull the shade down, knocking out those white hot rays of gleaming bright light. Unforgiveness pulls the shade down on the window of my heart. When I am hurt, my automatic reaction is to believe I have to live in the shame of the wound and allow unforgiveness to hurl ugly taunts in my face. In that moment of pain I can choose to open my heart to ingest the putrid pieces of this lie and allow it to fester inside my heart, or reject it and forgive. I am a Christian, but have at times become disillusioned with the term, especially as I see the way I respond to those around me in light of what is written about me, as a Christian, in the Bible.

Jesus could have been saving Himself at the same moment He saved the whole world. He chose to wrap Himself onto a rugged cross with His own blood staining the wood after hours of cruel torture. He didn’t hold that horrendous injustice against a crowd of self-proclaimed judges. No doubt, I am numbered among those self-righteous judges. But He chose to let me off the hook today, and forgive my many actions when He said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” I think we do know the kind of action we take against this perfect man, but have no idea the consequences of unleashing what is inside our hearts. Some of the manuscripts from Christian scribes or ‘other ancient authorities’ lack this sentence. How could this be?

Return Wednesday for Part II