“While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.” Luke 15:20
When I was still a Young Jedi training under my Master Yoda, there was once a ‘client’ who was obviously taking advantage of the system. I knew because when I checked the records, it was highly suspicious.
I’m sure you’ve seen these types of people before.
And my Master Yoda seemed to have read my mind. He probably knew that I was upset because this person seemed to be abusing the system to get what she wanted. However, she came and presented herself as someone ‘needing help.’
So he told me these words I’ll always remember … “We belong to the Department of Mercy, not the Department of Justice.” So we ended up giving the benefit of the doubt.
“If you have something over a person you’re not in a relationship; you are in a situation.” – Shannon L. Alder
I’ve realized offenses have 3 different types of results on my emotions. They either make me angry, sad or a combination of both.
Anger makes me have these thoughts in my head about getting even.
And sadness makes me dwell in self pity.
And the combination of both leads to many, many questions.
Our minds seem to analyze and rationalize our actions. But I realize it’s the heart that makes the final decision.
What I mean is we know “To err is human, to forgive divine” (Alexander Pope) However, not everyone forgives. Or if we forgive, it does take some time. Because our hearts tend to nurse these grudges like ‘a little pet’ (Liane Moriarty).
And we don’t have a right to judge, either. Because look at some of the grievous offenses going on around the world –
- The 9/11 attack 15 years ago …
- The child molester who eventually kills the victim …
- Insults from one president to another …
And the offenses are sometimes not this ‘grand’. It can be something like a child who wouldn’t listen to you. Or remarks about your weight that you still haven’t lost from pregnancy.
The offenses that come from our loved ones seem to inflict the greatest hurt.
“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” – Saint Mother Theresa (Canonized as a saint on September 4, 2016)
It ain’t easy. Especially when there is no remorse or repentance from the offender.
So let’s turn the table and put ourselves in the other man’s shoes.
Have you ever done something you thought was so grievous you couldn’t be forgiven?
I have. And I kept is a secret for more than a year.
So when I knew I could no longer keep it a secret, I was so scared.
Because I knew the hurt it would cause was severe and it would inflict a great wound in my loved one’s heart.
And so when I was forgiven, buckets of tears rolled down my face.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. – Mahatma Gandhi
We belong to the Department of Mercy.
So who’s in charge of the Department of Justice?
You know, for some reason, those who have greatly offended or hurt me end up having something bad happen to them. And I get to see it in my lifetime.
One person ended up with Guillain Barre Syndrome. Another with Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis. Two got fired. One developed a clot in his leg.
So I’m not really worried about getting even. I don’t wish them anything ill. It just seems to happen.
And I don’t mean God made these happen either. What I’m trying to say is – you don’t have to worry about that part.
It’s just an example.
One day, we’ll all pass away and we will be judged in the afterlife.
So I don’t think we should dwell about that part.
Just remember about the time when you were forgiven. Remember how much relief that felt.
We all fall down once in a while. We’re prodigal sons and daughters every now and then. We’re not perfect. We’re still under construction.
And even though we hurt God’s feelings once in a while. Just remember when we repent and go back to Him, He can see us from a distance and He will not only welcome us with open hands – He will run towards us.