I write often on the subject of forgiving those who trespass against me. I do this because even though Jesus teaches the importance of forgiveness for the forgiver's spiritual health, I have trouble forgiving. I do not want to forgive those who harm me in some manner. I have little trouble forgiving those who harm you, but harm me, and baby you better get ready for your 'payback' for it is surely coming. So I pray and muse and fret and fume, and eventually forgiveness, true Christ honoring biblical forgiveness comes gushing from my heart, a quarter ounce per hour.
I take no pride in my ability to delay to do what God teaches me to do instantly. I do take some measure of satisfaction in knowing that I am better than most because I only take a few months to reach this exalted state while most never reach this pinnacle of deep spiritual communion with Jesus.
I witnessed two people, both professing Christians, acting more like a cross between a donkey and a mare and wondered at their biblical ignorance. And then I grasped that I too, often act more like a braying large donkey than a Christian portraying the image of Christ. And I know all the verses about forgiving.
As I watched the scene I thought of the words of William A. Ward:
"We are most like beast when we kill, we are most like humans when we judge and we are most like Christ when we forgive."
Three categories. Do you know which one you operate in most of the time? Are you sure? Oh, I have never killed anyone. What about in your mind and heart? Ever wish so and so would just die? Murders proceed from the heart, the hands are only the instrument.
What about the judging part? To judge requires that there is some action that requires a decision as to right or wrong, out of place etc. The Scripture must be the benchmark and not our feelings or even our loss; but what does God have to say about it and what does God say as to my resources for relief if in fact I am done wrong? In most cases of one believer judging another the judging is not in the framework of your responsibility. I have heard the criticisms of name brand preachers for years and when I am asked my opinion I usually respond; "He doesn't work for me." I am so busy comparing my thoughts, feelings and actions to the Word, that I have little time to spend sifting through every thought, action and motive of the name brand guys. Judging can be and usually is a deep miry pit and very hard to get out of once you're in, sort of like the Tar Pits in Los Angeles.
Forgiveness is a hard rut to get into, but one we must force ourselves into if we want to be like Christ at least most of our allotted time on earth. To forgive is the first step to letting go and I sure know tons of people with my added weight who must learn to make this a daily, moment by moment practice.