Wow!! God speaks in the craziest ways… These past few weeks a common theme has been coming up for me and that is the theme of forgiveness. A week ago in my bible study, we talked about Jesus teaching about forgiveness; and just yesterday the pastor at my church talked about the same topic using the same story (definitely not a coincidence)!!
Now these last few years (maybe 10 now) I’ve had a lot of forgiving to do and I still have forgiving to do. One story in particular was when I was in grade six. I was a new student at the school that I was going to and I didn’t have any friends. Over time I built what I thought were friendships; but it turned out that a lot of people were just using and toying with me. There was this one guy that was in my class and he was in a similar situation as me (everything except being new to the school part). The popular kids at school would get the two of us to do things to compete of their “friendship”. So week by week and day by day it was a constant struggle to be in the “in” or the “cool” crowd. Sometimes I was a jerk to him and sometimes it was the other way around. Yesterday at church, he came as a visitor and I was shocked to see him there. The only reason he was there was because it was snowing hard and he didn’t want to drive out to where his church was (which was in a different city). At first I wasn’t going to talk to him, but I felt convicted and ended up talking to him. Luckily there were no hard feelings between us.
The fact that he showed up at my church on the same day that the pastor preached on forgiveness is definitely not a coincidence. I was impacted deeply by the message. The pastor asked us to physically act out forgiving others by writing on a sheet of paper those who we choose to forgive and we put the paper through a shredder as we went up to receive communion. One thing that I would like to quote from the pastor that I feel is very important for all of us to remember is, “When you are angry at someone, bring your concerns to God, not the person that you are angry with. When you feel like someone is angry with you, then bring your concerns to that person and make peace with them.” When he said this he was referring to Matthew 5:23-24 because we cannot give a pure offering if we are angry at a brother or sister and/or when we have sinned and angered a brother or sister.
I want to encourage all of you with this video. I found it very powerful and moving and I hope you feel the same way.