There. I said it. It might be somewhat of a misnomer, but it's the truth. I'd like to think of it as a paradox than a misnomer because, as believers, the Bible tells us to love one another. But, how can I love my brother or sister in Christ who stabs me in the back or slanders my reputation under the guise of gossip? Oh, sorry. I meant to say: under the guise of "prayer."
Loving another when he or she has done us wrong is no easy task because it involves something that we must do: choose to forgive by faith. This will bring us the freedom we seek to be at peace with those who have wronged us.
Jesus said when we are wronged to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39). Or, forgive another seventy times seven (Matthew 18:22).
Granted, some people are easier to love than others. It's those "others" who constantly challenge me. They are the ones who burrow themselves deep under my skin and make themselves at home. Yet, they seem to have no clue as to what it takes to maintain a healthy relationship. They test every fruit of the Spirit I try to bear, and sometimes succeed at squashing it.
But who am I to judge the motives of another? However, I am human, and I feel pain when I am slighted, slandered or my character is slaughtered by the insensitivity of those I am instructed to love. The only way I can find freedom from this pain is when I look into the mirror and see that I am no different than them. My reflection reminds me that there have been times when, I, too, acted similarly or just the same.
May our choice to forgive others start with a humble heart and faith in the only One who can forgive all past, present and future wrongs.
Your title drew me in right away, Bob! And your piece does not disappoint. It has just the right tone, development and flow to make a reader willing to identify with you without feeling condemned. So many times when someone is getting on my nerves or pushing a hot button, Father pulls back the curtain to reveal that mirror! Great job.