Saturday, September 24, 2011

Forgiveness -- And a side note

I want to address reaction. Hurt reaction. Recently, I have been talking to
different people who have been hurt in one way or the other. But as I
observe, it seems to me that they all have the same reaction. Imagine you’re
sitting in a cafeteria, eating your lunch. Suddenly, someone who you thought
was your friend comes up to you from behind and smacks you as hard as they
can, practically embedding their fist into you and then runs away. Your back
is still stinging, and a knot is forming beneath your shirt.

I know, that was a pretty un-descriptive lame analogy, but you get
the point, right? What would you do in that kind of circumstance? What would
your reaction be? There are two different scenarios that come to my mind.
Scenario one: You throw down your lunch, no longer caring about it (it
smelled a little of mold anyways) and run after the person as fast as your
legs can carry you screaming at the top of your voice, “YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO TREAT ME THAT WAY, AFTER ALL I'VE DONE FOR YOU! I THOUGHT YOU WERE MY FRIEND!!!” ready to take the offender to the ground, hoping to embed
your fists into them, to see how they like it.


Well, that was a little drastic, but seriously, don’t you just yearn to do
something like that to someone that’s hurt you? In fact, aren’t you itching
to get them back? Now, let’s continue to our second scenario.


Scenario two: You begin to rub your back, Ohhh does that sting! You can
already feel a bruise beginning to form. You’re mad. Actually, you’re so
mad, that your skin begins to boil. You can feel your neck starting to get
hot, you can feel the anger pulling at you. You want to yank
out that persons hair! But you don’t run after the person. You WANT to, but
the circumstances just don’t pan out. There are too many pedestrians in your
way. You have to come up with a better plan. You toggle your eyebrows,
feeling like an evil scientist ready to destroy the offenders world with
your evil plan. You set your food down and walk over to the group of girls sitting at a table nearby. They are all friends of yours, *and *they are
all friends of your offender. “Did you see what she just did to me?” you ask
in utter astonishment, showing them all your bruise. “Woahhh!” they all say.
“She’s not the kind of girl she made us think she was,” you continue, “She is
really such a brat. I don’t think we should be friends with her.” The others
nod in agreement and you continue to talk about how that girl has hurt each
and every one of you in a different way.


Have you figured me out yet? I’m not talking about physical hurt. Well, not
really. I’m talking about any kind of hurt. Anything that anyone has ever
done to you that affects you majorly. Something that has separated you,
bruised your heart, abused you, hurt your family. I’m not talking about the
going-crying-to- mom “They were talking about me behind my back” kinda thing.
I’m talking about separation, divorce, abuse, things like that. The things
you can’t forget. The things you want to vent about over and over and over
again.

Think about that certain thing in your life. Think about the person or
persons who have hurt you, and who you have gone to to vent about.

While you have this in your mind, I want to tell you a story. Three stories,
actually. Two that you will probably know well, the other, not so much.

* * *

Corrie’s heart raced inside her chest. She figured that everyone within ten
miles could hear it beating loudly. She had just finished a conference
talking about her past life. Corrie was one of the few survivors of one of
the Nazi prison camps during World War II. She wasn’t a Jew, in fact, she
would never have even been in a prison camp, if it hadn’t been for the fact that
she and her family had been hiding Jews in their home. They had generous
hearts and they knew that Jews were God’s chosen people and loved by Him,
just as much as any other person in the world. They weren’t inferior, and
they needed help. Sadly, the family had been caught and Corie’s father and
sister had been killed. Corie had been strong, however, and it was clear
that God had a plan for her. She had survived the prison camp, but with
many, many memories that would scar her for life. The kind of torture that
you and I could probably not think possible, unless we saw it personally
like she did.

It had been years since the end of the war, and now she was figuring out God's
plan for her. She was led to speak and write books about her experience and
share…. Forgiveness. She was at a conference and had just finished speaking
about the sorrows and struggles of the war, and about how God was still
faithful, when someone walked up to her. It was someone she recognized. In
fact, it was one of the leaders of the prison camp where she had been held
hostage and where her sister had been killed. She stared at him. He stared
back, waited a second, then told Corrie about how he had changed, how he
realized what he did was so, so wrong, and then, he asked for her
forgiveness.

She forgave him.

You know the story, don’t you? Now, I want you to think about that person
that hurt you. Are

you willing to forgive them like she did? It’s likely that your hurt is bad,
but not nearly as bad at what Corrie experienced. Why did she forgive him?
Because she knew that Jesus had forgiven her for all the sins that she had
ever committed, all her wrong doings, all her wrong thoughts, and she knew
that Jesus wanted her to forgive this man, and to show him who He was.

Here’s my second story:

An American soldier had been stationed in Japan just a few days after the
allies had dropped the atomic bomb. He walked the streets, his heart
saddened at the extended damage, and the people suffering from burns worse
than he had ever seen. Everything was desolate, it was like there was no
life, except for a few survivors that walked the streets. The soldier came
across a sign in English that said, “Methodist Church” and he followed the
arrow to a small church building that still stood amongst the rubble and
grayness of the dark sky. He walked into the damaged building. There stood a
few Japanese who had gathered to worship God, despite the circumstances.
They turned their heads to the door, where the American soldier stood. None
of them said anything for a moment, everything was silent, they just stared
at each other. Then, a man stood up. He pointed at the American soldier, the
one who was fighting against them, the one who’s country had just caused all
this devastation, the one who had probably shot at and killed many Japanese
soldiers during battle, and single word came out of his mouth. It was the
only word the soldier knew in Japanese, it meant *brother.* The Japanese
ushered him inside and he worshiped God with them, and listened freely to
the sermon the pastor gave, although he understood none of it. It was a
moment of unity, even though the world was at war, Christians were still
united, by the blood of Jesus Christ.


Isn’t it amazing how the Japanese forgave the American soldier, even though
they knew that the Americans had just dropped the worse bomb that had ever
been known to man on their country?

I have told you two of my stories. Both of them tie in with my third and
final story:

Blood ran down His hands, His feet, His neck, His back, pain shot throughout
His whole body. The people down below were chanting, laughing, mocking Him.
He could have done something about it, in fact, He knew that the worst was
about to happen. He could have stopped it, He could have healed Himself
right then and there, but He was dying for a reason. In fact, He was dying
for you. The pain that shot through His nerves and the nails that were pounded through His wrists were all for you.

Now, the worst was about to come. It was the time. The pain was unbearable, but still, He bore it for you. The sky turned black and God, His father turned His back on His Son.
Why? Why would God do something like that? Because sin, your sin, everything
you have ever done, every thought action, word you have spoken wrongly was
now on the back of His son, Jesus Christ. God can’t look upon sin. If you
have any kind of sin in your life, God cannot look upon you, because God is
perfect, without sin and He created you, perfect, without sin, until you
were tempted and rebelled. Whose fault is it now? Completely yours. You
should be the one in the place of Jesus right now. It should have been you.
But He took your punishment. He took all the sin upon his back, He took
separation from God for YOU. But why? Why would He do that? Because He loves
you.


What was the point of me telling you these three stories? Well, I wanted to
show you forgiveness. Corrie forgave the man from the prison camp, because
she knew that Jesus had forgiven her, The Japanese forgave the American
soldier for all that his country had did to them, all the hurt that was cast
upon them, because they knew that Jesus had forgiven them, and Jesus forgave
all your sins, even though you were a dirty wretch who had disobeyed God
thousands and thousands of times, and still do because He loved you THAT
much. YOU are His child.

Are you willing to forgive that person who has hurt you? Are you willing to
count them a brother or sister in Christ if they are indeed Christians just
like you? Even if they aren’t a Christian, are you willing to forgive them
rather than reacting in a scenario one or two manner, just as Christ has
forgiven you? Or are you going to continue to talk bad about them, continue
to wish hurt upon their lives, keep on trying to get them back?


I was planning on ending on that note, but apparently God has a different
plan for this article. Have you been reading this today and thinking, “Wow, I
can’t believe Jesus has done that for me. How can I accept Him? How can I
love Him back for what He has done for me?” Jesus wants you to love Him, you
only have to accept Him as your Lord and savior. Do you trust in Jesus?

If you have further questions about Jesus, forgiveness, or salvation I would
absolutely love it if you emailed me at atimetodanceblog@gmail.com . Jesus
wants to know you, He’s knocking at your heart, will you accept Him?


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"Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of a man does not produce the righteousness that God requires." ~ James 1:19-21

"So whether you eat, or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." ~1 Corinthians 10:31