There is one source of power that is stronger than every disappointment, bitterness or ingrained mistrust, and that power is Jesus Christ, Who brought forgiveness and reconciliation to the world.
~Karol Józef Wojtyła (1920–2005)
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.
~The Encourager, in Hebrews 12
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that One has died for all, therefore all have died; and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
~paul, The Least of The Apostles, in 2 Corinthians 5
OH BELOVED, IT IS TRUE.
There are some truly bad people in this world…. Really, really, really bad.
And no, i am not talking about the latest enemy or political figure in the news. Things in this world are real but the problem is that, in pointing our fingers at the obvious evil of some person on the other side of the world, we can cover over, or sop our own conscience in dangerous and truly unholy ways.
Much closer to home, each of us has experienced the force of evil working against our lives. Some of us have suffered unspeakable abuse. Some of us have been cheated and betrayed to the nth. Some of us have had our emotions battered and gaslighted until we hardly knew who we were.
Some of us just hurt so bad that we sincerely (but wrongly) felt that the only way through, was to drown those sorrows with some sort of smoke, or powder or liquid. We cried out from the depths of our flesh: “OH G_D!!! Just make it stop!!!”
However, as difficult these realities really were, and are, and will be for awhile, they present us formerly lost boys from the Colony of Mercy with both a tremendous risk, and an overwhelming opportunity for growth.
CAN WE SEE IT?
There really is no way to sugar coat this. The Blood of our Lord Christ is far too powerful to be proclaimed with a caveat, or a with a little something to take the edge off the overwhelming Power that flows from His wounds on our behalf…
Jesus The Christ, The One Who has mightily saved you from your pit of sin, despair and pain… This same Jesus died for others who have done great evil to you – to me – to others. In some metaphysical ways, died ‘even harder’ for those who are the darkest and most hideously evil among us.
Don’t miss this: The worst of the worst have the same invitation Jesus gave to us – to complete, deep, and eternal forgiveness of all their sins. And this same Jesus told us one of the hardest truths: if we do not forgive our now-adopted-into-the-very-family-of-G_d brothers the same way, there is no way that we can fully experience the forgiveness He has bestowed on the criminals who near-on ruined our lives.
Maybe this fool of a writer can preach for a moment… Doesn’t it make sense? The only way i am going to fully experience freedom is for me to let go of my own ego, my own past, and my own hurts.
There is no need to forget, but if i hold onto them, the cleansing Flow of His Spirit in me and through me, is somehow constricted and even blocked. Then, behind these blockages, eddies of the old me quickly rot, and embitter my entire being.
In those bitter places taking root within me, the death that Jesus is saving me from, gains a chance to grow in me again. All of this comes into my life, bought at the price of letting someone live rent-free in my soul when Jesus has already given them a new Home in His Kingdom.
Could it be that i am the problem? Could it be that, apart from the daily mercies of our Gracious Creator, i am the really, really really bad person? Oh yes.
Now, those who refuse His forgiveness will be respected and walk themselves into eternal damnation – but that situation is WAY above our paygrade. That situation is between our Maker and that other person.
Beloved, Jesus has done the work to reconcile you – and those who hurt you – to Himself. We can make no place for bitterness, as it is a false and vile judgment we make on our Savior. Rather, let us freely Love those whom Jesus has already freely loved and redeemed – and even those who may never choose to experience that redemption.
Tonight is your night. Forgive. Forgive everyone the way that Jesus has forgiven you. Try it, and see for yourself. See if all those impulses to comfort ourselves in our pain don’t just kind of fade away in the freedom in which Jesus has always meant us to Live.
I eventually came to understand that in harboring the anger, the bitterness and resentment towards those that had hurt me, I was giving the reins of control over to them. Forgiving was not about accepting their words and deeds. Forgiving was about letting go and moving on with my life. In doing so, I had finally set myself free.
Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
Think About This: “There is a God of awesome grace who meets his children in moments of darkness and difficulty. He is worth running to. He is worth waiting for. He brings rest when it seems like there is no rest to be found.” ―