I feared an upcoming confrontation that unfortunately happens too often. I prayed for God to help me approach the situation in the best way possible to lessen the impact, to “calm the storm” a bit. His response was, “forgive him.”
What? Forgive him? Has he actually done something that requires forgiveness, other than being just a pain in the lower extremities? “Forgive him.” Forgiveness is not always for the other person as much as ourselves. Whether it was a true wrong or a perceived wrong, it still had a grip on me.
“If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.” Proverbs 25:21-22
Yeah, heap burning coals, I’ll forgive him, that’l show him. “Uh, No. That’s not what that means and that’s not how I taught you.”
When this proverb was written, if during the night your fire went out, you would go ask a neighbor for a hot coal to restart your fire. The proverb was about being generous, giving not just one coal, but all they could carry, in a pot, most likely carried on their head. Thus, a heap of coals on the head.
Forgiveness is a gift, just as it is a gift to us from God. So if I forgive, then that makes me the bigger person right? If they no longer have power over me, then I have power over them, right? “Uh, no. That’s not how I taught you.”
A discussion came to mind from the book “The Shack” and the movie by the same name. God was asking the main character to forgive the man that killed his daughter. When he protested, God said, “I need you to, I am trying to redeem him too. It may take a thousand times before it gets easier”.
Jesus did not die for us to prove He was better than us, He already was and still is. He did it because He loves us. And He wants me to forgive because He loves all of us and is trying to redeem all His children. He paid our ransom asking nothing in return, but only to go and do the same.
Talk about heaping coals on my head.
So I said, “I forgive him”, and again, and again. Only 997 more to go.
Be Blessed in Great Measure