Forgiving the despicable?

February 15, 2019

 

My friend, may I ask you a question? It has been said “it’s easy to forgive the forgiven and to despise the despicable.” Both the act of forgiving and that of despising often fall on the same emotional level. Ultimately, do we tend to find it as easy to display love as do rancor?

 

My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.

 

 

When you were a kid there were two kinds of people in the world: those you liked and those you didn’t. What determined which was simply the degree of fault you were willing to tolerate in each. Friends, even those we liked, were people certainly capable of hurting us from time to time. Nonetheless, because of the special relationship we had with them, we were always willing to overlook the occasional slight in favor of a continuing friendship. Enemies, however, were those with whom we would not tolerate even the slightest of wrongs. Since we had little or nothing to do with them ordinarily, we forfeited nothing by maintaining an unforgiving spirit toward these people. In a sense, as children, we often were quite discriminating in how we chose to use the powerful tool called forgiveness. 

 

It has been said “it’s easy to forgive the forgiven and to despise the despicable.” Both the act of forgiving and that of despising often fall on the same emotional level. Ultimately, we tend to find it as easy to display love as do rancor. 

 

 

 

This is demonstrated graphically in a prayer I recently read that was uncovered from the horrors of the Ravensbruck Nazi concentration camp. The prayer, found in the clothing of a dead child, says: “O Lord, remember not only the men and woman of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not remember all of the suffering they have inflicted upon us. Instead, remember the fruits we have borne because of this suffering, our fellowship, our loyalty to one another, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart that has grown from this trouble. When our persecutors come to be judged by you, let all of these fruits that we have borne be their forgiveness . . .” (author unknown.) 

 

“Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” With these beautiful and simple words from the cross, our Savior demonstrated for all of us the foolishness of dividing friend and foe. Jesus could have said, “Father forgive Peter for denying me and my disciples for deserting me.” But, to include the Jews that falsely testified against him or the members of the Sanhedrin that called for his death? Certainly these were individuals worthy of scorn, not forgiveness. The fact is, however, that Jesus came to earth to bring forgiveness to all, not just His friends. It’s not easy to grant forgiveness to those who cast an unforgiving profile is it? How do we do it? There is only one way. Instead of thinking about the sin, think about the spiritual growth you will be granted each time you forgive those who don’t seem to deserve it. Let the fruits that are borne from the ills you have suffered be your compelling guide to glorify God when you forgive even those who despise or hurt you. 

  

We pray. Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father, please help us to remember the power of forgiveness, and please help us to extend this to our enemies as well. We know what it means to forgive, and know all of the things You have forgiven us for, but the pain sometimes makes it difficult to forget — and, at moments, to forgive. Please help me to move past what may have been said and done by filling our hearts with forgiveness for both friends and enemies. Please help us to focus on the importance of all of our relationships, friends and enemies, and give us strength to find a stronger place in which to dwell. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

 

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

 

If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to ”This Passing Day!” 

 

<markcbrunner@thispassingday.com> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.

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