Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Forgiveness matters

I had breakfast this morning with a man who's face has haunted me for the past few years, though I barely know him. He had played a small role in a deep betrayal years ago related to another business. He wasn't responsible for it, but because he had a played a role, and because I didn't know him well, it was easy for me to cast him as the villain in my mind. Blaming him also made it easier to forgive the others involved... those I knew, loved, and wanted to forgive.

I hadn't planned to ever confront him about what he'd done. What would be the point? I don't see him, interact with him, or really even know him. Our business together is through and we don't share the same friends. It's all in the past, so why go digging it up again? Right?

That changed when I recently discovered that we now attend the same church. I was polite and greeted him cheerfully when I saw him, but inside I recoiled. I felt genuine distaste for him, and acting as though I felt otherwise made me feel slimy, dirty, awful.

I put it off for a few weeks, but my conscience wouldn't let it go. He is my brother in Christ, we attend the same church, and like it or not, I needed to go to him and lay it all out, "Mathew 18" style. Even as I prayed about it this morning before I went, I told the Lord I didn't think it would do much good.

I was quite wrong. It did do some good. It did a lot of good. To my surprise, the man was deeply and genuinely remorseful. I even felt badly for him. He'd been carrying around the guilt and it clearly weighed on him. Almost immediately, I found that I couldn't wait to forgive him -- and to seek his forgiveness for my waiting so long to go to him. Hearing his story also gave me a different perspective on the position he'd been in at the time.

I left feeling... knowing that chapter in my life was finally closed. At last.

Don't think for a moment that because it's "business" that it's not personal. It's all personal. And it's all spiritual. This is Kingdom work we're doing and Kingdom rules apply. That includes Mathew 18.

1 comment:

Julie Anna said...

I'm so glad you are blogging! You've got a lot of wisdom and insight, so please do share it with us all! :)