Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Grudges and Mercy

Matthew 6:14 "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
Actually, I am astounded! Christians can hold grudges for years and go on their merry ways. Grudges are feelings of resentment because a person has perceived that they have been wronged. Grudges are pettiness in action but with dire consequences: the trespasses mentioned in the passages above are the wrongs perceived of the begrudging one.

Loving one another is paramount in the life is a Christian. Indeed, loving others is the work required to demonstrate to God that one takes the death of Jesus seriously. Why grudges are so wrong, is that they are the very demonstration of hatred. Let's look at a grudge scenario:

Linda perceives that John has wronged her. He may have, or have not. The actual wrong is of no consequence if John seeks reconciliation. Let's say that John apologizes, and  Linda says that she accepts the apology but will never forget. That is not forgiveness; it's clinging to hatred. What if Jesus forgave but then withdrew his love. He doesn't do that but if He did, that behavior would lack compassion! Linda forgives begrudgingly, and hangs onto the grudge for years. In effect, she never even truly forgave!

That grudge, a hateful affect, is failing to forgive another their trespass. You see, Linda is effectually her own little god, and John offended her god. John tries to appease Linda's god, but her god is selfish and angry. No one offends Linda's god and gets away with it! Linda ensures that.

The longer the grudge lasts the more the hatred. Of course, Linda never does wrong in her own eyes, and she bows to her own goddess. She fails to understand that her own trespasses need forgiving too, and that other Christians are required to forgive hers. Jesus even expects her to be merciful to others because He is merciful to her.

Short and to the point:
Luke 6:36 "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful."
Jesus as well had said, "Quit being so self-serving, and truly forgive. Show it by loving. That's how I do it!" That would certainly put Linda on her knees if Linda was close to the Lord.  You see, obedience is what those who serve God are to do. We become servants to God and others. In the case of Linda, she doesn't even serve, and is resentful that she is expected to serve!

There is another problem with Linda -  her goddess doesn't sin t least in her own eyes. She never has a beam in her own eye but looks at the mote in the eyes of others as she judges harshly by a different standard than she wants to be judged (Matt. 7:1-5).  Linda fails to judge herself, but readily judges John over-harshly. While she smiles without guilt, John is condemned to the realm of former friends. That's where so-called friends go who fail to bow to Linda's goddess.

Christians cannot hold grudges. The very idea of a begrudging Christian is an oxymoron. They are without mercy, and neither will their Father in heaven be merciful with them! It's a simple idea: if Linda fails to show repentance for her own grudge, God won't accept that faked forgiveness on Linda's part. Linda can't fool God. All her smiles as she praises Him, are smiles to herself.

Of course, this is not a gender issue. There are many begrudging John's out there as well. Even family members begrudge other members, even for years. What if Jesus distanced Himself from you for years while he relished in your isolation? Jesus doesn't do that, and neither should Linda or John!

No comments:

Post a Comment