Do you sometimes want to kill people?
Some time ago a friend of mine told me how much he was suffering. Someone forced himself into his life and pushed a wedge between him and his mother. In fact, that person stole his mother from him and erased everything that up to now had been good and beautiful as if with an enormous and muddy eraser. It was as if he no longer had a mother. His mother appeared to be happy, but the rest of the family are not.
As I read this verse I thought of my friend: 32Be gentle with one another, sensitive.
This is exactly what the man in his mother’s life did not do. He thought only of himself and was not concerned at all whether the rest of those involved enjoyed having him come into their lives. And together with my friend I want to print this verse in big, bold letters on a banner and hang it right in front of his house. Yes, you say you are a Christian, but just look at the way you treat other people. What you’re doing is not nice. It’s not nice that you are destroying our relationships. It’s not nice at all…!
The problem with this verse is that it doesn’t stop there. I’m left breathless when I read the second part of the text: 32… Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.
O my word!
“But tell me, how can I simply overlook his “mistake” just like that?” I hear my friend say. We are actually all asking that because many people have kicked me in the teeth too. They are the people who have all the fun. They are the people who play outside the boundaries of marriage; they are the ones who buy better and grander and bigger and nicer stuff with stolen money. They’ve stolen my humanity. Because of them I carry emotional baggage that even my shrink cannot sort out. They have all the fun! And you and I?
I wish I had a magic wand that could give each of us an answer to the above questions. I wish I had a direct line to God, so that I could get a box of answers for you and me. But, unfortunately…
I was talking to a friend who was so hurt by outsiders who simply came in and took what did not belong to them. I talked to her about forgiveness. She is honest and says that she’s not there yet. She doesn’t know whether she would stop if one of them walked in front of her car.
I just realise that I cannot do everything alone. I realise that my way of doing things pulls away from forgiveness and in fact only wants to hate. I realise all my shortcomings. I know God forgives me. I know I have to overlook other people’s mistakes and in many instances I succeed in doing that. But those that hurt so deeply – it’s them that make me fail when it comes to forgetting and forgiving.
I have to conclude without answers and with you I call out to God: “O, God my God, where will my help come from!”
Who have hurt you so much?
Are you also struggling with forgiveness?
Do you also need help?
“O, God my God, where will my help come from?” Amen