Recently I have been haunted by a fact. Many people have sinned against me over the years.

Some know it, like the ones who hid behind the menu when we walked into the restaurant where they sat. For them I have some hope.

1703646closedmindOthers greet me like nothing happened, like the clergyman who made a motion in a meeting that I be subjected to an inquisition, and then later wanted to have a conversation like we were pals as of old! For such people I agonize. The reason is best described by Paul writing to Timothy:

“The Spirit says clearly that in later times some believers will desert the Christian faith. They will follow spirits that deceive, and they will believe the teachings of demons. These people will speak lies disguised as truth. Their consciences have been scarred as if branded by a red-hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:1-2 God’s Word©).

forgivenessNumb by Satan’s deceptions of their high status in the cosmos they cannot entertain the slightest possibility that they are anything except as gods, above human sin and even simple error.

I agonize, because such people aren’t asking for forgiveness; they have no need to do so in their minds. Well, if they do not, or cannot, ask for forgiveness how can God extend it to them? And if forgiveness is not extended to them they are cut off from the face of the Living God, for no sinner can stand in the presence of the Holy One, The Almighty God, The One Who Judges.

A Book that takes the reader to the foot of the cross - and new heights.

A Book that takes the reader to the foot of the cross – and new heights.

Jesus is healing my pain and suffering these people have caused me. Increasingly I am at peace with the scars and wounds, badges of persecution because I have served the One-Who-Saves.

Did God bring them to afflict me just so that I would pray for them? That adds a new perspective on persecution and anguish. God and I still get along good. So their oppression did not drive me away from The Comforter.

But for them…?

Who has sinned against you? May God grant you the humility and love to look beyond your pain to see their need. Amen.