OK, not a Christmassy title. But it’s very real for me this year.
Living a life of Faith means sometimes you get hit. Sometimes hard.
Sometimes so hard you lose yourself and the ability to progress.
Your heart hardens. You lose forward motion and you start to harbour malicious and vindictive thoughts.
Any honest Christian will admit it. Even Paul said he did what he didn’t want to do and didn’t do what he wanted to. I suspect that included thought patterns. Although he sang praises in jail, I expect he had moments when he was just really pissed at being there.
It’s humanity rearing it’s very ugly head.
Recently my wife and I moved in with my mum, technically a seperate-entrance room on her property. It’s been a difficult transition, especially since we both believe it’s not where God intended us to be. It’s been made more difficult still by a person living in the house next door.
I’ve not met him. Never set eyes on him. But he shouts over the fence at our dogs if they squeak. He leaves notes in the mailbox complaining about our excessive noise.
It’s hard to forgive him.
It’s hard because he runs his well-point just over the fence from us for 5-6 hours at a time. It runs at a frequency that the military uses as “white-noise” to flush out terrorists and the enemy. Migraines and sleeplessness. Irritability ensues from the relentless onslaught. And I try to turn the other cheek.
But it’s hard.
What I really want to do is climb the fence and rip out his watering system. I long to gag him and his visitors when they make a noise in their garden.
So far I’ve not even responded to the note as my anger is too hot to do so in a Christian way. I can’t post here what I’d like to say, as I would have to re-classify the blog as over 18 only.
I’m a Christian, but I’m still a work in progress.
I need a miracle in my life, as we all do from time to time.
It’s Christmas. In the last few months, my wife and I have lost almost all our support network of friends, family and even healthcare professionals. We struggle daily, not with the big stuff, but in the little things.
Right now we sleep on a borrowed bed in a borrowed room. Most of our posessions we are trying to sell, and there’s the very real possibility that the business we fought so hard to establish over the last 6 months will have to close because of failure to comply with fire laws by our landlord costing us ten days of trade.
I believe in Prosperity, Health, Salvation and Eternal Life as part of Christ’s atonement. But I also know we gain persecution as part of the package.
Unforgiveness is in me right now. I try every day to take the thought captive and submit it to Jesus, but it’s hard. It doesn’t come naturally.
It’s followed by all the accusers in it’s wake. Judgement, condemnation – both of myself and the person I can’t forgive – anger, bitterness, pride. They all get in.
It’s a season to forgive and forget. It’s a time to remember what Christ did for us.
It’s no wonder the enemy has fought to destroy it in the public mind.
Replace generosity with greed. Replace forgiveness with malice. Imagine if Jesus had done that. Kicked in the door of the inn and demanded a room – He’d made everything after all.
But He humbled Himself to birth in a stable, death on a cross.
Writing is cathartic for me. Re-reading reminds me of my true Heart, the one God gave me when I gave my old one to Him so long ago.
So I won’t write to the neighbour today. I’ll forgive him now.
And probably need to again tomorrow. And the day after that. And the day after that. And the day after that.
But eventually if I keep reminding myself, that unforgiveness will be replaced in me.
Unforgiveness is a feeling that becomes an action.
Forgiveness is an action that – eventually – becomes a feeling: God’s Love for the person you choose to forgive.
So I’ll try to give myself a Christmas gift now.