Friday, October 16, 2009


From The Word For You Devotional

In a comedy routine Joe complains to Jerry about the irritating habit of a mutual friend who pokes his finger into people's chests when he talks to them. Then Joe shows Jerry a little vial of highly explosive nitroglycerin attached to a string and explains, "This is going around my neck, hanging over the spot where he sticks his finger. The next time he does it, he'll pay!"

And so will Joe! Because an eye for an eye becomes a neck for a neck, a job for a job, and a reputation for a reputation! Paul says, "Forgive ... because the Lord forgave you."

Get over it before it turns into hatred! Moravian missionaries searched for a word for forgiveness in the Eskimo language. That's when they discovered "issumagijoujungnainermik," a 24-letter tongue-twister which literally means "not being able to think about it any more."

Genuine forgiveness is about moving on, and refusing to think any more about what happened. It's easy to forgive the one-time offender who cuts you off in traffic, but repeat offenders like Saul who continually pursued and threatened David, must be turned over to God. You don't have to endorse their behavior or pretend it didn't happen. Be merciful, but keep your distance.

After confronting Saul, David didn't take him out to dinner. The Bible says, "Saul returned home, but David ... went up to the stronghold" (I Sam 24:22). You can forgive the offender without pursuing a close relationship with him. Paul writes, "Watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way ... Keep away from them" (Romans 16:17). Forgiveness isn't foolishness; it's just seeing the offender through God's eyes.

No comments:

Share This Post