Living a ‘Christ led’ life has many challenges – and always has. In the midst of these complications are people – different from ourselves that we are trying to do life with. Those that we take into our lives, learn to love – but often disagree with – then because of a cross word or other situation, we find ourselves removed from them.
The early church had a problem with forgiveness and superiority in general. They learned to be critical of anyone different and felt justified in doing so. Jews felt superior to the Greek – Men felt superior to women – etc. It is a very old song. Grace, unity, forgiveness, justice, judgement. Who should give it – and why? Is anyone really qualified to do this? Are you more spiritual than I am? What makes you feel this way? Should we ever forgive something unforgivable? Why or why not? Are there things that cannot be forgiven?
I would love to live in a place where being a Christian means that I actually can accept you just the way you are – not try to make you into something that will make you acceptable. Where I can forgive you just as easily as you can forgive me. No matter what the problem was – bad behavior, inappropriate situation, or other messy circumstance. I would love to not live in fear that somewhere along the line – I will be judged by those who feel they are better or more spiritual than I am. Especially when I have blown it – or do not follow all the rules of conduct when it comes to accepting people into my life. And especially when someone has hurt me – and I know I have hurt them – but I have chosen to forgive them and seek them out for reconciliation – because it’s the right thing to do. When I was the one who was wrong. But even when I wasn’t.
I am weary of those that would say that silence is best in some situations. Really?
Silence holds hostage and punishes like a physical pain.
Hope and reconciliation are a part of God’s redemptive plan. It is not weak to want to restore – and not naive to expect that it can happen. Silence should never be a part of forgiveness – no matter what you may have been told. Especially in those situations where true friendship lived and breathed. Those that have a relationship with Jesus and have been forgiven much. Those that have loved us and know that we still love them.
Make peace with those as long as it is in your power to do so. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Love in such a way that it will put other Christians to shame. Do something crazy – let go of your pride and reputation – and actually start over – fresh and with a new purpose. Not caring what others may say or how they may judge you. While there is still life – there is hope. And we are called to do this. It is a “God moment” – a Holy calling.
We need to be gracious in love – just like Jesus was gracious with us. Today my friend Tony called it “Furious Love”. And we all need a little of that, don’t we?
I am praying for you – that you would grab ahold of all that God has for you – that silence will be broken in your life – that you would have no fear in love. With God – all things are possible and all things can be made new. Forgive – break the silence and experience God’s “furious love” first-hand.
When was the last time you had someone turn away from you because of a misunderstanding or disagreement? Has silence been a weapon and a barricade for not really forgiving and dealing with it? Or were you able to resolve it? Are you still working on it?
- Forgiveness without strings (cindyholman.wordpress.com)
- The Reluctant Friend (via Cindy Holman’s Blog) (cindyholman.wordpress.com)