For the past two evenings, my husband and I have been attacked online because we offered prayer for the family of a murdered girl; someone said: “I don’t think the family is Christian” Does it matter?
From there began a 98+ comment from the G+ community on how people hate Christians and how we should not require folks to forgive for whatever reason. It went from the offering of prayer and good thoughts, to attacking God’s Word. We are not offended the least bit because we know it is not us they attack but the Word of the Lord.
In Romans 8:7 we are reminded that “the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.”
Knowing this, I am no longer surprised by what people say. Many people have said such things as:
“Ghandi said he loves Christ but hates Christians”
“So you’re putting me in the same boat as murderers? How unchristian!”
“I believe we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us, but I can’t forgive a murderer”(This is from a Christian)
First, I’d like to take a moment and just say that me and my husband experienced death of a loved one, we had a child in our family hurt by someone we trusted, and we were also attacked by other so-called Christians. The people on G+ don’t know that we are from far being religious nuts, in fact, a religious nut would not have offered prayer, they would have told them something very nasty, cold and would have offered a bunch of nonsense. So we know how it feels to have loss, get talked about, and be compared to children of the Devil. Unfortunately when we speak with others online and not face to face, we read two words of a post and when it doesn’t ride where we want it to, we attack with words and that is simply not nice.
Anyway, let’s see what Scripture has to say about forgiveness and the consequences of not forgiving…
“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”(Matthew 6:12 NIV)
“Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.”(Luke 6:37 NIV)
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”(Ephesians 4:32 NIV, instructions for the Body of Christ)
In each of these verses, it is reminding us that we were all bought at a price, which was Christ’s death. We all need to ask for forgiveness(repent) each and every day. I will not apologize for speaking His Word on the matter. Each day we expect people to forgive us for our nasty, human flaws but we can not do it for others.
I’ll admit something: I hate death. I hate murderers and killers. But don’t ever say that I am “allowing” something because I prefer to let go and let God. As my husband aptly put it online: when we forgive, we release power and strength back into ourselves.
But what happens when we don’t forgive those who hurt us in some way?
- We become bitter
- We hold onto anger
- We get depressed
- We get stressed out
- Our daily conversations no longer revolve around what is good, but all the negative stuff
- We forget God
- We miss the point that the dead person is now Spirit and would not want us to become shadowed with evil.
- We exact revenge
- And ultimately, end up just like the killers and maybe sharing a cell with them, and none of this brings the dead person back.
People. Wickedness starts in the heart. The person who murders had to have premeditated it(this is the Law’s term, even they get it). That means any of us could premeditated something in our hearts and become the ingrates we love to hate.
But God had a solution in the past for this. If we really want the Lord to come down and exact Justice on our behalf, be careful- because He will come for us all:
The Lord saw how great the wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his[human’s] heart was only evil all the time. So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created from the face of the earth…”(Genesis 6:5)
Our Lord was grieved that he even made us. So he wiped out folks with a giant flood. How sad that all of our bitterness and anger leads to this….
On another note: There is a time for anger and grieving, the Book of Ecclesiastes talks about Time. I can’t expect someone to forgive right off the bat, no one does. I get deeply hurt by those who hurt others and in my heart of hearts want Justice immediately. But just as there is a time to mourn. There will be a time to dance, to smile, to be merry, and never forget those you love.
The enemy loves when people think about murderers and hate….Let’s take back the power and focus on the good things God has given us, even for a short while.