Friday, May 30, 2014

Forgiveness or Forgetfulness?

There was once a little girl. She was an Israelite. Little is known of her family, but she remembers them even if noone else does. She was taken from her family, her friends, her people, and everything she knew in the world to become a servant girl in the house of Naaman.

When one is placed in this position, one would expect much anger to be directed at those around them. Certainly if I was in this position, I would be looking at Naaman's situation and consistently holding a grudge hoping that my masters would find suffering. That the Lord might reward them according to the harm he has afflicted me.

This is a natural reaction. Whenever anyone hurts us, no matter how small, we tend to become angry at them. Now imagine if that were escalated to the point where everything you hold dear was taken away from you.

That is where this little girl is. We know that she has a memory of her life in Israel. We know that she might not ever attain to find her way back there again, yet here we are seeing her without wishing that her masters will have some harm fall upon them.

Instead, this little servant girl has a fervent care and compassion for her masters. When she sees that Naaman has leprosy, her thought isn't, "About time! You really thought the Lord would let you get away with taking one of His people to be your slave?!?"

But her thought as told to us in 2 Kings 5:3,
"Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy."

What an example! I must confess I don't follow this example. Whenever anyone hurts me, even in the small way of keeping me from sitting where I wanted to, I start to get angry and it becomes difficult for me to forgive and forget so that I can begin to actually care about the other person.

I can't help but think that I am not alone. Can you imagine that you could forgive someone who had only ever wronged you? The Lord says that we are to forgive up to seven times seventy times. We are to love our enemies. Here we have the ultimate example. Having compassion on those who have harmed us.

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