Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."         Luke 23:34 NIV

“I’m never going back to that church,” she said through bitter tears. “Never! I mean it. I’m not going back.”

Jesus prayed for our unity, died for our unity—but someone I love deeply was wounded. Many someones, many wounds. I don’t always know the details, but I have no trouble reading their pain and anger.

It hurts—and it hurts even more if it’s a friend who fired that shot at you, or even one you only thought was a friend.

Betrayal—planned and intentional, or innocent and unaware—will make us bitter, or make us better. It’s our choice. Will we fire back? Or, will we put an end to the infighting?

Motives of the heart matter to God, who knows the heart of every man. But should motives matter to we who are caught in that crossfire? There’s only one Judge, and it ain’t us. We do not have that authority, and we don’t know their hearts. We don’t even know our own. Even the most mature among us are too self-centered to step back far enough to see the whole picture.

Jesus forgave His enemies. Even on the cross, in the middle of it all, He prayed for their forgiveness, and He forgave—but He’s God. Lots of stuff is easy for Him. It isn’t easy for us.

But you know what? They weren’t His enemies. They were POW’s in the spiritual war that rages unseen around us.

And neither are our brothers and sisters in Christ our enemies.

Jesus said we’re to follow His example and pray for those who falsely accuse and persecute us. Easy? No. But He’ll help us.

And who knows? When others see the peace that forgiving brings to you, perhaps it will help them to forgive, too. Maybe the shooting will stop. Maybe there’ll be no more wounded folks taking potshots at other wounded folks.

Bottom line: pray for them sincerely, and you'll start to love them sincerely. Then real forgiveness will follow.

Feel free to take my advice or just kick me off my soapbox. No hard feelings. I’ve got a pile of cushions right there, just about where I’ll fall.

Avi, where do I start? With me. Help me to be sensitive to the needs and feelings of others. Help me to forgive those who have hurt me. Help me to love them like You love them. In Your holy name, Amen.




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