Tuesday, January 14, 2014

~ "no 'buts' about it..."

photo by Celia Darrigo
Therefore I say to you, What things soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them. And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. (Mark 11:24-26)
There are some things we don't want to forgive.  We want to hold on to them and use them to justify our bitterness or our anger.  "But Lord, look what he did to me!  How can you ask me to forgive him?"  Our wanting justice for injustice would be more easily explained if we turned it around and pointed it at ourselves.  There is not a one of us alive who has not, at one time or another, caused these same feelings in someone else...so who are we to demand forgiveness when we choose not to forgive?
People hurt us.  Sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.  Either way, we are told to forgive and to leave the "yeah, but" out of it!  I'll be honest, that's not generally what I want the Lord to tell me.  What I want to hear (sometimes) is that I am right and they are wrong and God will take my side.  Guess what?  There's a good chance that the other person is wanting the same thing!  Guess what again??? He takes the side of truth!  When we come to that point, we are being told to put our house in order, for he sees ALL!!!  We need to let these things go.  God's justice and man's justice are not the same.  Our society is governed by the concept of "innocent until proven guilty" -- in God's eyes, we are all guilty.  There is no probation, no plea bargaining, no commutation of our sentence - we have received the death penalty and we will die!  The only thing that saves our ugly selves is the cross and that will only come AFTER our mortal lives are finished. Jesus paid for our sins as well as the sins of those who hurt us.  Each and every low life, reject, snob, or mean-spirited person who has caused us pain has already been forgiven if they are a true follower.  The question is - are you a true follower?  Have you forgiven them without wanting anything for it?  Have you put aside the desire for "them getting theirs"?  Have you stopped  envisioning them standing before God and witnessing them having to answer for what they've done to you?  
Today is the day to let it all go!  Forgive it all - no "but's" about it!  When you start to revisit that act in the screenplay in your mind, re-write it!  Let it play out on a happy note!  Who cares if there's no dramatic climax to it!  Quite frankly, I prefer no drama!  Allow yourself to be secure in the knowledge that you are forgiven, and in being forgiven - pay it forward and forgive those who have hurt you.