“What is the worst thing that you have ever done toward someone?” This was the last thing Rob asked at the end of his sermon Sunday morning, which was actually the first thing that came to my mind when he introduced his sermon with the first question, which was “what is the worst thing that someone has done toward you?”
No hurt is worse than another…I have been hurt but what have I done to another?
We all mess up, we all fall short, make mistakes, hurt others, sometimes in horrific ways, sometimes not so horrible but still, hurtful in ways that break friendships and break hearts. The thing is…the thing is that we don’t keep the circle of hurt going, stop. Forgive. Carry on. Live your life. Live with joy, keep short accounts, and believe the best about people, forgive…because after all, we all mess up.
Forgiving is hard…especially horrific hurts. But small things hurt too. And this is the other thing, God does not play favorites with forgiveness, horrific hurts and small hurts are on the same page, whether it’s slander or whether its violence; murder or betrayal; lies or something stolen…one as bad as the other and none better than the other.
Rob talked about Joseph and his brothers, how Joseph forgave his brothers for all the hurts they inflicted upon him and how he wept when years later, even after all he did for them, they came to him and asked again. Joseph wept because his brothers doubted his forgiveness. Isn’t this what Christ does when we ask again for forgiveness for something we were already forgiven for? It’s as if we doubted His forgiveness…and Jesus wept.
The worst thing I did to someone? It falls into at least one of those categories, but the thing is God forgave, He knew it at the time…later when I asked for forgiveness I was forgiven; mercy and amazing grace. There is nothing anyone can say or do to make me feel undone about it, I have been forgiven and I never have to ask again…thank God.
Yet, I know this, even though it hurts Him, even though I fail at other things in other ways, again and again (because on this earth I will never be perfect) Even though I mess up because after all, if we’re honest, I’m a mess and so are you…confess the mess. He will forgive. How many times? Seven times? No. Seventy times seven times. And then, more than that…mercy and amazing grace.
This much I can do for someone who has hurt me…forgiven people forgive.
I love that.