Forgive, Forgive, Forgive by matthaiti
I had an interesting discipleship opportunity that came up yesterday here at EBS in Haiti. To make a long story short (by the way, discipleship opportunities often time come out of complex circumstances), there was a miscommunication between seminary leadership and the students that resulted in the students feeling insulted. I noticed the students seemed distant and on edge (we have to be especially sensitive to know when things are slightly out of balance at times).
In responding to the miscommunication, I called a student body meeting right away, even though it was 7:30PM and they were in the middle of study-hall. Good discipleship can't wait. If you can do it now, do it.
I explained where the miscommunication occurred and everyone was able to relax a bit. The students thanked me for clarifying and explained that they were upset because they thought that the school leadership was insulting them. Making matters more interesting, they threw a minor rebellion by refusing to participate in a fun activity that was planned just for them.
The sentiment was, "They insulted me so I'm not going to participate."
After clarifying and being thanked, I jumped on the opportunity.
"Guys, what if I was insulting you? Would that grant you license to rebel and pout?"
"Jesus was insulted quite a bit, did he rebel and pout, or did he give grace, love, and forgiveness?"
Shifting in chairs.
"We must remember that if we're in Jesus, we have forfeited all rights to pay someone back for insulting us. This doesn't mean that we should never be upset, or communicate that we've been hurt, but never, EVER do we have the right to rebel and pout because someone has insulted us. Because of the cross our response to an insult must ALWAYS be love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness."
They responded, "But it's so hard to forgive when your cut deep, when it hurts, even when it wasn't intentional. Even if it was an accident, it's still hard not to bite back."
"That's where the Holy Spirit helps us. Let's try hard to keep our human habits in check when we're insulted. The old man inside of us wants to say 'Revenge! That hurt! I'll hurt you back!'. The New Man, however, says, "I love you. I forgive you as I have been forgiven."
We finished well and all partook in the fun activity together. Once again, God used tough, uncomfortable circumstances to shape his people and glorify his name.
Forgiveness is the Great Balm to the human heart. He is our wounded healer