Monday, August 20, 2012


1 Kings 8:38 & 39
...and when a prayer or plea is made by anyone among your people Israel—being aware of the afflictions of their own hearts, and spreading out their hands toward this temple— 39 then hear from then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive and act; deal with each man according to all he does, since you know his heart (for you alone know the hearts of all men)...

I've found one of the things that interferes with my ability to quickly forgive someone is my presumption to understand their motivation.  When we try to analyze someones heart, we are way out of our depth.  We aren't able, we are supposed to and we create a whole lot of trouble in our relationships when we do it. Consider this, you call a friend, leave a message and they don't call back.  You decide they didn't call back because they don't care about you.  Is it harder to forgive the phone call or to forgive your friend for not caring about you?  Your husband doesn't pick up the milk you asked him to.  You decide he never listens to you.  Is it harder to forgive the empty milk carton or your husband for never listening to you?

I come from a long line of motivation analysts.  My gramma could watch a national news cast and tell you all about the reporter's heart based upon her hair style.  Seriously.  When the Mr. and I argue, it's the stuff I attach to the particular issue that really puts up roadblocks to grace.  Women are particularly skilled at stringing together 30 years worth of events to prove that their husband has always been ____________.   

Of course, we can look at actions and draw conclusions that are entirely accurate.  Serial killers are hateful. Hitler was evil. People with big hair love Jesus.

The point isn't that we can't figure it out correctly once in a while, it's that the heart of people is not for us to judge.  The essence of Christ-like forgiveness is that it is undeserved.  In other words, whatever motivated the offense is unimportant.  To forgive is all that matters.  To open our own hearts to extend mercy is where the heart and the mind must be in sync.  Our own hearts. 

2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test...

There is such a thing as too much information, as digging too deeply.  It's our job to forgive the person, and God's to fix the heart.

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