The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong ~Mahatma Gandhi
I like just about everyone. I try extra hard to find something good about the students that other teachers avoid. I spend time with people who grate on my nerves just so I can discover what makes them who they are. I give bad drivers the benefit of the doubt, and I believe the best of everyone’s intentions.
My neighbor calls me “Mary Sunshine” in a derogatory tone.
But there are times when I just can’t bring a smile into my voice. I just can’t give another ounce of love. I can’t face “them” and instead walk the other direction.
Paul finally made it to Rome and he wanted to defend himself in front of the Jews before he stood trial in front of Caesar.
To his surprise, he discovered that the news about him had not arrived. The local Jews were uninformed of either him or his savior.
So he started teaching.
They were willing to listen until he said this good news is also for the Gentiles.
Whoa, now! Hold your horses.
God is saving the people who have been persecuting us for the last hundreds of years? He wants to forgive the ones who have slapped us silly and enslaved us?
No. That’s not the God we know or want. See you later, Paul.
Do you feel their disgust? Does it resonate with you?
God wants to forgive the bigot who won’t let her daughter date your son? God wants to welcome into the family the creep who molested your niece? He wants to embrace the old woman who told you for years that she should have had an abortion and wished you were never born?
Hits home hard, doesn’t it?
Like the local Roman Jews, you have a choice.
Will you walk away in bitter resignation and disgust, or will you join the band of misfits that belong to Jesus’s kingdom?
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV