I’m sitting here reading Matthew 18:19-22:
“If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be for for them by My Father in Heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. Then Peter (I love Peter. I am SO Peter!) came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”
Following is a parable Jesus told about a servant who was forgiven a large debt by his master, then that same servant turned around and had another man thrown into debtors’ prison for not paying a significantly smaller debt.
Verse 34-35 read, “And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So my heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
Unforgiveness is torture.
Today in church our senior pastor, Brady Boyd, told us all to make peace with those with whom we were in conflict. (You can listen to it here: http://www.newlifechurch.org/displaypodcast.jsp?id=6 )He said you could tell if you had not forgiven and released someone if you were still having imaginary conversations in your head with that person. Scott asked me if I was having those conversations and I said, “I think I’m down to about two a week.”
That’s not good enough.
So in the spirit of this passage I confess, yet again, that apparently I’m still going around this mountain. I have to stop seeking justice, because I ain’t gonna get it. There’s no apology coming, either. And although Pastor Brady said some of us need to make a phone call this week, I can’t see that happening.
I can, however, ask you, my friends, to agree with me in prayer that through God’s power I can stop being angry and resentful and I can let it go, even if it means going through the pain of God reminding me of all my transgressions toward others that have been forgiven. I’m sure they’re numerous.
What I can’t do is put my church face on and pretend I’m perfect, that everything’s perfect, that I’m not wrestling with something – “No, not me! I don’t know about the rest of you people but everything is just fine over here!”
I’ve got to get this stuff out of my head and my heart and get free of this unforgiveness. If you do too, let me know. I’ll pray for you if you’ll pray for me!
Funny thing, another pastor told me recently that blogging on my unforgiveness could make me look bad and reflect poorly on me professionally. Really? Does admitting I’m struggling in an area make me a bad pastor? Do you trust me less knowing I too have a battle? Are promotions only for the perfect?
If there’s a price to pay for being honest, let me get my wallet.