It’s tempting to let up when the effort becomes arduous. But we finish well in the Christian race only when we fix our eyes on the goal: Jesus Christ. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
“Forgive and forget.” This was the response most of us heard growing up when someone had hurt us. Whether parent or friend, the admonition meant that we should simply put the transgression and hurt out of our mind. We were well advised not to think about it or even speak about it. Move on with your life and put it behind you. Putting distance between the hurt, us and the transgressor seemed a good way of not getting too deeply involved in the the whole thing. Walking away prevented additional contact and perhaps avoided more confrontation. It seemed the right thing to do.
But, is this the proper course to take when dealing with hurt? On the one hand, we feel better. On the other hand, how does the transgressor feel?
A story is told about two friends walking through the desert. During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: “TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE.” They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: “TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE.” The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?” The other friend replied: “When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.”
Perhaps the key to being able to forgive and risk a confrontation, is feeling secure enough in the first place to write the transgression in the sand knowing that God will bear away the guilt without our having to lift a finger. When someone has hurt you and you are looking for comfort, make note of that hurt and speak to them about it in love. Sit down with them and write it in the sand before you, knowing that in so doing, the sinless Lamb of God will walk between you and that sin. With the breath of his love he will gently brush the sand clean and smooth again. Putting sin before you in love, relying on the universal forgiveness of the sinless Son of God to wipe it clean, not only satisfies the need to pour love upon the hurt, it satisfies the requirement of God who asks us to “forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” “Forgive and forget?” Forgive and remember. Remember that all sins are laid upon the back of our loving Savior.
We pray. Heavenly Father, our sinful human nature often gets in the way of forgiveness. When we are wronged, our first thought is often revenge, and if not revenge, defense. Lord, our first defense is neither of these because you have given us a better tool, with a better outcome. You have asked us to give the offense to you and let you handle it. Forgive us Lord when we are quick to resort to returning hurt for hurt, or building fences around ourselves to protect us from the hurt. Remind us Lord that forgiveness begins with a willingness to put the offense where it belongs, in your capable and just hands. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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