Sunday I referenced an article from Terry Rush entitled The Great Gift We Don’t Want to Unwrap. Here is an excerpt:
We have been offered abundant life. This Jesus vowed. It's ours for the accepting. Riches of wholeness combined with a thriving potential are ours for the claiming. However, there is this burr under our saddles that we deem necessary to maintain. This restriction is that we are subtly (if not intentionally) driven to hurt others by the blatant refusal to overlook and forgive another of sins. This costs...the refuser.
We have in our possession one of the most powerful gifts ever known to mankind. It's as old as the cross, as new as the day, and as enriching as fresh air. It is called mercy; our will to forgive others when they have not only not asked for it, but in many cases don't even realize the depth of their sin against us.
Our egos insist that we speak in a way that cuts others down while simultaneously lifting ourselves up. This is personal deceit at its gravest power. Regardless of how much we believe that we have legitimate accusation, we have no one in our vision guiltier than self....ever. Jesus made this clear in John 8. It wasn't that the woman wasn't guilty of adultery; but it was that her accusers were blind. They were blind to their own deep, deep sins.
The very great gift we have on the table before us is waiting to be unwrapped and accepted. Yet, go ahead. Go ahead and hate. Go ahead and despise others for their failures; for their blatant, awful, sinful, violational behaviors. Go ahead. By doing so one will fail to unwrap a very special gift indeed. It is called mercy which forgives others and, in turn, discovers our own freedom from our own sins which have been an undercurrent of frustration and hope all along.
I look forward to seeing you Sunday.