Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
Some things just don’t belong together, and putting them together is very dangerous, if not volatile. One such example of this is food and corrosives. Simply put, there must be a ten foot space between anything food and any corrosives in a trailer. Flammable liquids and corrosives are even worse. To put both of these in a trailer pretty much requires putting one in the nose of the trailer and the other on the tail. I am told that corrosives mixed with a flammable liquid can be quite volatile, if not outright explosive.
Human emotions are often the same way. Some people can be quite unforgiving and bringing such people into a gathering with others will only bring out the worst in them. This is especially troubling around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Alas, Christians are no better than anyone else in this regard. There are many who would call themselves Christians, but are more forgiving of strangers than they are of their own family members.
It seems that almost every family has a story about that one person who supposedly did something, and even though there was no proof, they were blamed anyway. Me? I was once blamed for smashing Easter eggs, even though it was later proved as being the work of one of my cousins. It took a while before the truth came about that, but I held the burden of blame for it.
With the holidays coming up, it may actually be time to reconsider both forgiveness and being thankful. Too often, we fail to forgive others because we forget how much we have been forgiven. In Ephesians chapter 1 verse 7 we read ” In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace”. Yes, Christ Jesus, in his grace, has forgiven us our sins. However, because of this we should be more forgiving of others.
Now I am not advocating that somebody who is predisposed to a foul temper should be tolerated. No. They do need to repent of their sins. I am saying, however, that we should temper our desire to pounce on others and blame them unforgivingly for something in which we have no direct evidence.
When he wrote to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul recognized how great the faith of the people was. Because of this, he was quite thankful for them. None of them were perfect, and Paul knew it, but he commended them for their faith. They were truly trying to live what they had been taught, seeking diligently after the kingdom of God, all because of how much they had likely been forgiven.
What about you? If you call yourself a Christian, and yet you do not forgive others, well, you may find that you have no place in Christ. Yes, we like to think our sins are forgiven, but we must also being willing to forgive others who sin against us. Indeed, when Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother, Jesus made a statement that implies a very simple truth. Jesus told Peter not seven times seven, but seventy times seven. In other words, you never stop forgiving. Now, when we consider all the sins for which Christ Jesus died upon the cross, I should think that there is a valid point. Incidentally, forgiveness is something that I struggle with, as I want to forgive but I also have a tendency to bear a grudge. Of this I must repent.
Certain chemical classes are quite unforgiving and should never be mixed. As Christians, we need to repent and be more forgiving of others, even those within our own families. A nasty chemical mixture could cause an explosion and destroy some freight, but an unforgiving people can destroy an entire family.
Like the Apostle Paul, we should be thankful for those around us, and thus we need to forgive them. Repentance begins with each of us. We all need to stop from time to time and say “Lord have mercy on me, a sinner”.