To quote Mark Twain, “It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”
For me…the thing that doesn’t always feel so good is forgiving. Make no mistake…I am most grateful to be on the receiving end of forgiveness. But forgiving others…well that may not feel so good…at least initially.
The most challenging time to forgive is when my feelings have been hurt or when I’m angry at someone for a wrong done. Instead of being quick to forgive…my natural tendency is to nurture my hurt feelings…or justify my anger. But as a Christian…the Holy Spirit doesn’t let me get away with that for too long before He’s calling me on the carpet and holding up the mirror of God’s word. Right about then…my reflection doesn’t look too pretty.
More often than not…I find that hurts and slights by people are done unintentionally. There is no overall plan or purpose to do me wrong. They’re not taking aim at me…but instead just living their life. But those hurts exist nonetheless. The question is…what am I suppose to do with those feelings? Will I choose to take those hurts to the Great Healer?
As I go through life…and get cuts, bumps and bruises along the way…I have the opportunity to learn what it feels like to be hurt. The question is…will I then apply that lesson in my relationships with others? Will I choose not to hurt others in the way I’ve been hurt?
Forgiveness will likely continue to be a challenge…this side of heaven. As such…forgiveness is something that I must choose to do, choose to obey as an act of my will. Just do it…and let my feelings catch up with my will as I seek to obey God.
God’s word is non negotiable…it’s unchanging and unwavering…and each and every person is held to the same standard. God doesn’t grade on the curve…and He doesn’t lower the bar so I can pass. Yet He already knows that I’ve failed…he already knows my sinful ways. But He’s credited Jesus righteousness to my account…and has given me His Holy Spirit…to guide, direct and coach me along the way.