Hypothetical conversation #592
“Good morning, Sally.”
“Well, good morning Ruby!…Boy!?…Did you not sleep well last night? You look awful.”
“I slept really well actually…thanks for asking.”
“Oh…are you feeling sick?”
“No…I feel fine.”
“You look sick.”
“Thank you…I actually feel fine…in fact, I feel really good!”
16 minutes later.
“Are you sure you are feeling ok? You really don’t look good.”
“YES!...I feel just fine.”
“Did you put on any make up this morning?”
“You just don’t look good.”
“Your eyes look dark…do you feel tired?”
“NO!...I don’t feel tired.”
“NO!...I do NOT feel hungry.”
“Did you and your husband have a fight?”
Not so quiet tension
“No!...I don’t see how that is any of your business anyhow!”
“Did you take your temperature before you came in to work?”
“No…I didn’t need to…I feel fine.”
“Do your feet hurt? It looks like your feet hurt.”
“Is your back bothering you? You look like you are in pain.”
“Do you have a headache?”
“You don’t look good…would you like me to make you some chicken soup?”
“No…I think I am just going to go home early…I am not feeling very good…”
“I KNEW IT!!!”
It is likely, in our hyper sensitive culture, that we have offended someone…or have been offended. Perhaps it is even likely that we have offended…or been offended, this past week…or even today. It seems like someone is always offended. It is possible that we, ourselves, feel that the world is against us…and that everyone is looking to kick us in the nose and throw us to the curbside in hopes of having us be washed down the gutter.
What do we do with these offenses? I see about three options.
1. Lash out and return the offense.
2. Do nothing…right now…let the offenses build…and then lash out and return the offense.
I find shortest answer, number 3, to be the toughest answer. We often will only choose to forgive, when we know that the other person is:
A. Truly repentant
B. Has suffered enough penance
C. By forgiving it somehow makes us look better
I think true forgiveness, however, is bigger…true forgiveness is deeper. I think true forgiveness is a supernatural act. In Acts 6:8-8:3, we find an incredible story of one of the very first martyrs of the early church…Stephen. When he is preaching the truth of the Gospel, he is attacked and killed with flying paving stones…his final words are astounding…“Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” Who does that!? Who prays for his attackers…asking for their forgiveness? That is supernatural. That is powerful. That is forgiveness.