Fighting the Ghosts of Unforgiveness

Wallace SwordThe 2005 movie The Kingdom of Heaven illustrates an important lesson about forgiveness. As the inhabitants of the city prepare to defend Jerusalem from the onslaught of the Muslim army led by Salahadeen, the hero of the movie, Balian, makes this observation…

We fight over an offense we did not give, against those who were not alive to be offended.

How many times has this very scenario been repeated throughout history? How many wars have been started over an offense that can no longer be remembered? How many times have lives been destroyed because someone took up the offense of another person?

The Bible says in Proverbs 17:9 that…

He who covers a transgression seeks love,
But he who repeats a matter separates friends.

We as Christians are called — not to take up the offense of others — but to “deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Jesus” (Matthew 16:24). We are called to be living sacrifices in a world in which sacrifice is rare. As I once heard someone say…

The problem with living sacrifices is they keep crawling off the altar.

Sometimes, it feels better to “pick up our sword”  than to lay down our pride. But it could be your “soft answer turning away wrath” that brings peace to a situation, and heals a transgression through an act of love.

How can you be that voice of forgiveness, love, and reconciliation today?

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