Hey there! I know it seems like I’m not posting much lately and that since I’ve quit my full-time job that I should have more time to post. Turns out that having 3 kids and work being at home doesn’t really alleviate the lack of time, and in fact, it almost enhances the lack of time! I hope that the guest posts from my good friend Chad Nelson are a huge encouragement to you, because I know that I truly enjoy reading and having the honor of posting his thoughts and biblical impressions on here. Soon enough I will again start posting more frequently, but until then, here is Chad’s latest blog entry!
Memories – Like the Corners of My Mind
Memories are interesting. My memory is notoriously bad and I can still remember crashing my bike into a ravine at age 4. I do not remember much of anything about school but I remember the name of the first guy who beat me in a fight – Donald Anderson (I was in third grade and he was in fifth grade…I need to get over it). When asking students to remember something bad that happened to them, their hands shoot up. When asking them to remember something good, it takes a bit to recall and some cannot at all. Why? I think it is because our field of vision is very narrow and self-serving. Is it permanent? I don’t think so.
God is the opposite of sin so forgiveness requires remarkable grace from Him. Since He is omniscient and all-powerful, one would expect that not only does He know when we will sin but will remember it forever. But then we read in Psalm 103:12 that our forgiven sins are removed “as far as the east is from the west” and in Isaiah 38:17, we are told “… you have put all my sins behind your back.” As we are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26) and His son (as man) forgave even those who crucified Him from the cross, should we too be capable of forgiving those who wrong us and put the actions “behind our back”? Yes. Are we doing it? Possibly, but not likely.
Suppose that a bully has demeaned your child or brother or sister to the point of tears; day after day, week after week. The anger and frustration builds to a point where the very thought sends your mind into a hateful frenzy. Now, imagine that the bully falls from his bike in front of your house and gets hurt. Do you rush out to make sure he/she is OK like you would your own child? Worse, what if the bully is a predator who attempts to violate your child? Do you answer the call if he/she needs a “Godly” person to talk to? It does not seem reasonable to expect that reaction and while they may not ask for it, forgiveness can happen without the offending party asking. And, it appears that our objective as we grow spiritually should be absolute forgiveness with no strings but unconditional love. Wisdom and discernment should also prevent us from entering into potentially harmful interactions in the future.
In recent days, God has challenged me to try harder at forgiving and giving others a fresh start. I like to think that I forgive well but I also know that if left to my own devices, I am capable of great harm in revenge. So I ask God to take bitterness from me and also to think, act and speak through me at all times. The result is incredible liberation with the removal of bitterness. It is amazing how much emotional baggage we carry in things that we cannot undo. Replaced by a peace that surpasses all understanding, we are capable of great things. And even if my memory fails, His love remains in me forever.