Apr 8, 2008

clean slates

"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

So apparently everybody gets a clean slate.

I believe that.


And yet...

there are some people I find it hard to do this with.

I don't mean to, and I really am trying.

In recent weeks, I've been aware of this on more than one occasion. People whom I believe "should have known better" made choices in the recent and distant past that were detrimental to others, let alone me.

And I found that it's hard to give a clean slate when you have a good memory.

Hmm... maybe that's the one and only praise about Alzheimers.

I'm learning that the only way to combat this is through intentional grace. The kind that looks for the good in those people so that you can go out of your way to celebrate that in them. It feels forced and awkward, but I'd rather feel that than let the errors of the past become poisonous.

I say that because while I have forgiven these people, I still find that I haven't forgotten.

Yet I am a Christ-follower.

Which means I need to follow Christ.

And if He's commanded me to forgive and not hold someone's sins against them, then that's the growth curve I need to be on.

You know what? That sounds lame. "Growth curve." I was about to delete that but I want to leave that there to make a point. Saying "growth curve" means I'm too lazy to obey right now so I'll say something euphemistic so I sound righteous without having to become righteous.

Sorry... this is a bit messy for a blog post.

Please forgive me.


Robert said...

hey tony- as mike yaconelli would say, messy is a good thing as we seek to come to grips with our relationship to Christ. I really like your presenting our humanness tony. if your not willing to be wrong youll never be right. I think your post about the convo with God says alot about how we know truth and trust He who IS TRUTH!!

john alan turner said...

i'm not sure it's even possible to forget -- at least not without the assistance of drugs and/or electro-shock therapy.

but i can choose not to remember.

luther said our thoughts are like birds. you can't prevent a bird from landing on your head, but you can keep him from building a nest.

Cindy Woods said...

Life is messy, this post isn't. And yes you are forgiven, I'll try to forget it too :-)

A topic I find myself dealing with lately. Thanks for the post..it's very relevant! God Bless you.

Tony Myles said...

You guys rock... thanks for the encouragement!

Jeff Greathouse said...