Pastor - Brother Jim Sherwin
Youth Pastor- Andrew Higdon
Children's Ministry - Lauren Ottwell
Church Secretary-Becky Smith
Everyone has been wounded or offended by others. Some wounds are devastating, like the betrayal of a spouse or suffering violence or injustice. Other wounds are less severe, like being deceived or robbed. And some wounds are somewhat petty, like someone taking MY parking spot at Academy! But all of us have been wounded or offended.
We have 4 choices when we are offended. First, we can stew on the offense. We can write it down and put it somewhere we can see it - on the refrigerator, on our phone, or on the home page of our computer. We can relive the offense as we go to sleep at night and rehash all the painful details every morning when we wake up. We can tell other people about the offense, post it on Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat, and spread the story around Kwik Chek. So does this make anyone feel better? Does it take away the offense or heal the wound? Does it bring about a change in our situation?
We can try to forget about the offense. We can sweep it under the rug or hide it from others. We can pretend that it never happened. We can stuff the whole painful experience away in the corners of our mind. We can mask our pain with illegal drugs and alcohol. Does that make anyone feel better? Does denying the pain or ignoring the wound actually bring healing? Does pretending the offense did not happen make the offense go away? Does it produce any change in us or in the one who offended us?
We can seek revenge. We can just go after them: a roundhouse right in the nose, or post the equivalent of a haymaker on social media. We can just let all of our emotions go and get revenge. Or we can plot and scheme, taking our time and making sure we get them back in a way they will NEVER forget! But does that really make us feel better; does hurting others really make us happy? (If it does, we have become the monster we are hoping toe destroy!) Does revenge make the pain go away or lessen the offense?
Or we can do the hard thing - we can forgive. We can choose to let go of the offense. We acknowledge that the other person has hurt us. We might even need some counseling or assistance in dealing with the hurt that we feel. We admit that we care hurt and that we would like to hurt them back! But then we forgive the person. We stop focusing on the offense; we stop trying to forget about the offense and pretend it never happened; we stop seeking revenge and trying to hurt them. Instead, we give the pain to the Lord and we pour out our hurts to Him. We stop trying to hurt the other person (this does not mean that we stop seeking justice) or getting revenge.
No one can undo the offense they have done to us. We cannot forget about the hurt, no matter how hard we try. But no amount of retaliation will ever make us feel better. Even justice will not satisfy our thirst for revenge. Focusing on my hurts is actually a form of selfishness, and selfishness never satisfies!. But the grace of God will carry us through and bring healing to our hearts. Can we forgive others? Yes. Will it be easy? No, it never is. But we have a Savior who forgave us, and He will enable us to forgive others, no matter what they have done to us. Jesus actually forgave those who were insulting Him, committing violence against Him, and murdering Him, as they did it! So the most freeing thing in the world is to forgive others in the name of Jesus.
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