Thinks on Things

A gathering of ponderings…

To Forgive, or Not to Forgive?

In Mathew 18:23-35 Jesus refers to the Kingdom of Heaven by way of a story. In the story (also told here) the characters owe monetary debts of large and small amounts. The man who owes a fortune is forgiven by the King but then he turns on the other man who owes him pocket change. Needless to say, the King is peaved and throws the dude into jail for some good ol’-fashioned torturing.

So you’d think this is a no-brainer lesson, but obviously we’re talking about more than just money, right? Honestly, it would be pretty easy for me if it was only about money. Most of the time I just have to work a little bit harder or longer but eventually I usually get back what I was missing anyway. No real permanent loss here. So why is it so hard to forgive some other things like betrayals and broken trusts and hurting hearts?

Tonight I helped lead my youth guys in a study called Never The Same, trying to figure out what “following Jesus” really meant for our real lives. And then a question took me by surprise: “Following Jesus means leaving something behind. What do you need to walk away from in order to follow Him?”

Whoa, this took me back a step in time to a discussion I had with my mentor about forgiveness. His wise words were to the effect that “Forgiveness always costs us something. You must give up a part of yourself that seeks to make things right by your own means, and let God handle the offender. Forgiving does not grant innocence to the person but says I won’t make them pay me.”

Maybe the hard part of forgiving real issues is knowing that the something you have to give up is maybe something you can’t get back. I can’t seem to give up the bitterness and depression and cynicism in order to forgive someone. Is knowing I can’t hold onto these the reason I can’t move towards forgiveness?

I’m still struggling on this one. But I know I should forgive him and I really want to! And this isn’t simply to avoid God’s wrath upon myself as per the warning at the end of the passage either. It is because I want to and I know that if I can just overcome this stage many doors can open for the future. This whole year has been a hard lesson for me and I need God’s help in order to pass all these tests.

Fighting, loving, learning.

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October 25, 2007 - Posted by | All My Thinks

4 Comments »

  1. Wow, dude this is deep,
    like real deep and important and all.

    thanks for posting it even though it seems no one has commented on it.

    Amen.

    well I pray that god will grant you that little bit of hope again to keep you ramping through the trenches of life.

    take no prisoners!
    Forrest out-

    Comment by Forrest Cooper | October 26, 2007

  2. tell me my comment worked…

    Comment by Forrest Cooper | October 26, 2007

  3. kk so I’ll retype it

    This is deep stuff man,
    I’m touched, and feel for you and am joyous that you have found wisdom… again.

    dont dispair brother,
    I’m praying that God would give you that little boost of hope you need to get through the battles of every day life.

    Though I may not know everything, I am here if you want to talk…

    Take no prisoners!
    Forrest out-

    Comment by Forrest Cooper | October 26, 2007

  4. It’s all straightened out now, Forrest. For some reason it thought you were a spammer so it sent your comment to moderation. I cleared it now, so you’re cool.

    Comment by postalhoot | October 26, 2007


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