A seven year old boy walked into the room where his dad was sitting reading. The dad noticed the little boy had been crying. Further inspection of his son, he saw that he looked a bit dirty, with a torn shirt.
“What’s wrong my son?”
The little boy replied,”The neighbor kids, hit me and threw me down on the ground for no reason!”
“Aren’t those kids older than you?” the dad asked.
“Yes daddy, and bigger too!” the boy said.
“Well let’s go teach them a lesson they’ll never forget!” dad thundered. The son was excited, his dad could beat anyone, he was going to lay it on these bullies.
As they rushed to these boys, the dad said, “Are you the ones who roughed up my son?” The boys were so shocked they could say nothing, but feared the worse. Dad said to them, “I know you are the ones, my son said you were. I am going to teach you boys a lesson you’ll never forget, we FORGIVE you.”
And with that, the father took his son by the hand, and strolled away. The son, and his bullying playmates didn’t know that moment how to react, but that day, they learned a lesson, one they never forgot.
In 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul gave instructions to the Corinthian church on the ritual of taking “communion,” or the “Lord’s Table, or Supper.” By taking bread and drinking the wine, or as many do, the juice, we remember the broken body of Jesus, and His shed blood at the cross. As a child, most of the protestant faith I grew up in, did this ritual once each year at Easter. With that as a annual practice, that’s about how often I gave thought to Christ’s sacrifice. I had no teaching regarding this sacred ritual, and I regret that. Paul let the believer know how important it is, and how we should prepare ourselves to perform communion with the body of believers. Paul gave the people the instructions in chapter 11, vs. 23-26, then said these words:
Therefore, whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner willbe guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. vs. 27-31
What is Paul saying? Get rid of grudges and resentments, forgive those who harm you for any reason, or do not partake of communion. If that anger, or hatred is more important to you than your relationship to Jesus, keep the resentments. But if Christ means everything, bury those old feelings at the foot of the cross where they belong, and allow His salvation to cleanse you in every way. Don’t tell the Lord how much you care for the lost, how you love Him, don’t put your “holy” face on while taking communion, and act the saint. Be aware that Paul’s warnings are written in the same book that offers you salvation. You nor I get to pick and choose which parts we believe, and which we don’t.
Holding a grudge against another is not discerning Christ blood and body, and there is recompense that is serious. Be forgiving, realize that the person who offended you, offended God, so you need to let it go, no matter what the sin is against you. Okay, I am aware that many of us struggle to forgive and let go. Be willing to forgive, ask God to help you do so. In AA’s Big Book, resentments are the number one offender of the person heading toward relapse, and for the one that crosses the line from social drinking to alcoholism. Freed from anger, and resentments, the recovering can grow as they heal.
It is important to be forgiving for another reason…your children. They will become like you as they mature, they have your gene pool to swim in. Being free of resentments and grudges, will give them a reason to do the same. Be like the little boys dad in the story, teach them a lesson they will never forget…forgive them! I have to go…I have some people I need to forgive.
Thanks for reading, god bless and keep you all. I wonder if you think this is off-base?