Forgiveness

Ever have someone say, “I just can’t forgive ___________”? Ever felt that way yourself? When we try to counter that we are likely to hear, “You just don’t know what ________ did.” In other words we have created a society that has decided that somethings aren’t to be forgiven. More than likely we have come to assume that some sins are worse than others. Following this idea we would soon come to the conclusion that some sinful acts are allowed by God and others are not and therefore we should treat other humans with the same criteria.

Not a Biblical doctrine to be sure but one our society is happy to operate under. Not only do we withhold forgiveness we may move into the penalty phrase of the judicial process. We may decide to wear weapons of death and use them if someone commits one of our unforgivables. Forget what God said about vengeance or turning the other cheek. Don’t take into consideration God’s instruction on how to treat enemies. Rather than feed and clothe them our society thinks we should shoot them dead.

What does God say, by the way, not that many in our world today care? “But if you do not forgive men their sins, your father will not forgive your sins.” Jesus farther explains the way the forgiveness should be done. “So my heavenly father will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

What about eye for eye and tooth for tooth? “Do not resist an evil person.” What if he hits me? “Turn to him the other.” What if they sue me? “Let him have your cloak as well.” There is no room in the statements of Jesus to turn away evil with guns or other means of hate. But what about self-defense? “Turn your cheek.” How about I cut off his ear, Jesus? “Put up the sword (gun), Peter. Swords don’t promote peace, Jesus does. Jesus was reviled…did not revile in return. Jesus was struck. He did not strike back. Jesus was killed, he did not kill in return. He said of his murderers, “Father, forgive them.”

When the early Christians were arrested and slaughtered were they advised to take up arms. Did they resist the authorities with swords weapons of destruction? It is simply not the Christian’s way.

What about my rights? As an American you have rights but when you became a child of God you surrendered all rights to him. The choice is to live like an American or like a Christian. Christians forgive. Christians love. Christians care. If you disagree write on the blog and quote the teaching of Jesus that supports your understanding of resisting evil.

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