In all honesty this year the lessons of forgiveness have been tested to the nth degree. It isn’t like normal life doesn’t give ample opportunity for forgiveness. But this year has felt like walking naked onto a shooting range of highly caffeinated, angry trigger-happy shooters. Bang bang. So I have needed to be reminded to forgive over and over.
As I wrote in September, sometimes the offensive assault comes on every level. And where I might not forget to forgive those up close and personal, the enemy would love to trip me up with my offenses about the masses. While corruption on every level is being exposed, I have to meet the wave of offense with His sea of forgiveness.
Meeting the Wave of Offense with a Sea of Forgiveness
Today I wanted to quote from Oswald Chambers on the subject of forgiveness. I think he highlights it perfectly. I hope you enjoy it.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies.” Again I want to emphasize the fact that the teaching of Jesus Christ does not appear at first to be what it is. At first it appears to be beautiful and pious and lukewarm, but before long it becomes a ripping and tearing torpedo that splits to atoms every preconceived notion a person ever had. It takes a long time to get the full force of our Lord’s statement.
Offense: Love your Enemies
“I say to you, love your enemies”—an easy thing to do when you have no enemies; an impossible thing when you have. “Bless those who curse you”—easy when no one is cursing you, but impossible when someone is. “Do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” It seems easy to do all this when we have no enemies, when no one is cursing or persecuting us; but if we have an enemy who slanders and annoys and systematically vexes us, and we read Jesus Christ’s statement “I say to you, love your enemies,” how are we going to do it?
Unless Jesus Christ can remake us within, His teaching is the biggest mockery human ears ever listen to. Talk about the Sermon on the Mount being an ideal! Why, it rends one with despair—the very thing Jesus meant it to do—for when we realize that we cannot love our enemies, we cannot bless those who curse us, we cannot come anywhere near the standard revealed in the Sermon on the Mount, then we are in a condition to receive from God the disposition that will enable us to love our enemies, to pray for those who spitefully use us, to do good to those who hate us…. When you do Love your enemies, you know that God has done a tremendous work in you, and everyone else knows it too.