In a crowd of weary of waiting people, one turned to the other next to them and said.
“So how long have you been here. I’m going on two hours almost! There were 6 people helping when I arrived. Three have since left! Just disappeared, gone to break or lunch with all these people stacking up like sardines! The last lady I sat next to waited for three hours and 22 minutes only to get up there and be missing a paper and told to come back! Hmphfft! If I wasn’t a “Christian” I’d give my mind to them! Anywhere else they can track your identity down to the pennies in our accounts but here one piece of paper and they say they can’t! Its ridiculous!”
The other listened and smiled and replied.
“I’ve been here a little over an hour. It’s certainly an opportunity to forgive when our patience wears thin and judgement kicks in, huh?”
The one looked at the other and rolled their eyes.
“Like I said, it’s a good thing I’m a Christian.” The one said with a chuckle.
“Yes, it is definitely the advantage to be under the control of Christ in situations like this. It’s an opportunity to put ones eternal muscles in action! Then I can give thanks for the time it takes for my number to be called! I find I need more time to give Him my sacrifice of offense and judgement almost every time!”
The one looked at the other and spoke with their countenance a great deal of confusion. The appearance on the outside was one of surprise.
“Sacrifice of offense and judgement?”, asked the one, “what does that have to do with this! There is righteous anger. And I’m not judging. .. like I said I’m keeping my thoughts to myself!”
The other was quiet. Leaning into the ones searching for answers and praying.
The one spoke again.
“Well. ..I told you but I forgive the workers by not complaining to their faces. I mean look at the people flowing in, I couldn’t just go off to break with so many people needing help! ”
Again the other listened and prayed and waited.
“I mean everyone has to do this or we can’t be “legal”… Yet they act as if we should just be okay missing work! I have bills to pay!” Continued the one.
The other smiled and looked directly at the one and said.
“Like I said we need the time for Him to show us how to live forgiveness. What we think we have a right to is always less than nothing.”
The one huffed and said.
“So you’re saying I don’t have a right to feel what I do?”
“No.” Whispered the other.
“No, you’re not saying that or no I don’t have a right?” The impatient one inquired.
“Yes.” Came the answer from the other.
There was a time of silence then. The one mawing and chewing, squirming and stewing. The other waiting. A while went by and the one burst forth.
“So what do you mean about sacrificing offense and judgement? I assume you are a Christian to by your words but the way you put them is confusing.”
“Well. Jesus said we are to forgive. So I suppose it depends on how you think He means it. If He died for all offense and judgement, which is the by-product of unforgiveness, then by “right” He is the only One with the “right” to be offended or to judge. So I find that the application of the “old or former ways” in the Bible that are not thrown out but made complete by Him is that in my mind, my thoughts, is where His greatest work is done. I put my rights to offense and my tendency to judge as a result on the alter and offer them up to Him. It’s like the equivalent of 10 bulls, 20 spotless lambs, and 100 bowls of grain and incense. I literally give up my right to feel offense and think judgemental thoughts and then work my thoughts into all that which is of Heaven. Forgiving starts inside by acknowledging the truth. .. I really have no right to feel offense because if I’m a Christ follower, that “right” I have given to Him because I recognize that He purchased the “rights” by not taking up the right against me.” Responded the other.
“But. .. that would mean that unforgiveness the way you just put it is the end all be all of sin!” The one said incredulously.
“Name a sin that at its heart that isn’t the root of unforgiveness.” Replied the other.
“Oh, that’s easy. .. stealing. .. lying. .. cheating. .. adultery. .. Gosh I can’t see the connection in almost any sin and unforgiveness being the root as you put it! ” replied the one.
The other sat a moment and waited. Pregnant pauses often give birth to truth. Though admitably they feel awkward.
“If one steals. .. They likely feel offended that they don’t have and think they should – offense and judgement. If one lies they likely judge that they should because of an offense they perceive would be taken or given. If one cheats, is it not because they are offended by the work of not cheating and there-by judge that it’s excusable to cheat? And adultery! How often do you see an adulterer who isn’t at their root unforgiving and there-by fornicating as a result of offensive judgement?” The other spoke.
“Oh.” Said the one.
At that moment the ones number was called and they went up to tend their business. The words of the other ringing in their ears so loudly that they forgot their offense of their original gripe and didn’t even notice that another hour had passed before their number was called.
Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah