“I hate you! I hate you!” Lucas yelled at his best friend for taking his brand new bicycle without his permission and hiding it as a prank. The joke went horribly wrong when thieves saw where Kevin, his best friend, hid the bicycle and did what came naturally to thieves. No more would Lucas have the precious gift his mother and father gave him. Still, to Lucas’ surprise, his mother heard the wrath of Lucas and ran outside to intervene in what was inevitable… Lucas’ mother told him to apologize for using the strong words of “hate” and all the actions that follows such words…
Dear Readers, the series Turned Another Year Older–Why We Need To Keep Growing began in the year, January 2013.
It shared by the end of the series these topics would be covered:
- Knowing yourself
- Knowledge about others
- Are you really alone?
- How far will you drive?
Due to feedback, these topics were interwoven throughout many of the articles on the website this past year. Yes, seriousness and humor in some cases, some young minds of today say “dry humor;” but you chuckled all the same as you read the variety of articles here.
Now we come to the conclusion of this series with How far will you drive? Forgiveness is involved with the ultimate success we desire in life.
With the opening expressions from Lucas, most likely these thoughts are going through your mind:
- Lucas was justified in being upset.
- Why would his mother tell Lucas to apologize to the one who caused his precious bike to be stolen?
You may even know the answer to number 2, and yet your heart is just not into it. You inadvertently vocalize, “You don’t know what I have been through in my life.”
The reply, “You are right.”
And this article is not to make light of any pain experienced in life through the mistakes, and at times, planned out efforts of others. The Holy Bible informs us of some people, “They cannot sleep unless they do what is bad. They are robbed of sleep unless they cause someone’s downfall.”-Proverbs 4:16
No, dear readers, trivialization of what you have or are going through now will not happen in this article. Remember, we use knowledge to help all people.
With that said, we will not dwell on the dark actions of others, due to the reasons you will see how once everything appears in the light, every person will be made aware and make an accounting of how WE treat one another. Everyone is given the opportunity to improve themselves. Are you doing your part; inasmuch, what is your part?
The word forgiveness is exemplified by God himself. Yes, the foremost example of forgiving others.The book Insight on the Scriptures states of Forgiveness
The act of pardoning an offender; ceasing to feel resentment toward him because of his offense and giving up all claim to recompense. The Hebrew verb sa·lach′ (forgive) is used only with regard to God’s pardoning a sinner. The Greek term a·phi′e·mi literally means “let go off.”
People use the expression “God hates the sin but loves the sinner.” It is clear to see that the emphasis on God’s LOVE has a soothing effect on the hearer. Did you know that God as a loving parent has additional counsel to help us though? Let us continue with this reference further.
Insight on the Scriptures- Forgiveness [ Reading the scriptures strongly encouraged]
God has a required way for seeking and receiving his forgiveness. A person must acknowledge his sin, recognize that it is an offense against God, confess it unqualifiedly, have a deep heartfelt sorrow for the wrong done, and have a determination to turn from such a course or practice. (Ps 32:5; 51:4; 1Jo 1:8, 9; 2Co 7:8-11) He must do what he can to right the wrong or damage done. (Mt 5:23, 24) Then he must pray to God, asking for forgiveness on the basis of Christ’s ransom sacrifice.
You see from the quoted reference that God really does have requirements in this area. He does not want us to take the wrongs we do to him and others lightly.
Back to Lucas and his mother
Lucas was fuming and asked, “Mom, why do I have to apologize and why you aren’t upset?”
Lucas’ mother turned to Kevin and asked, “Kevin, are you sorry?” Kevin nodded his head up and down. In obedience to his mother, Lucas said, “I am sorry for saying I hate you and all my other words.”
That night Lucas’ mom said, “Tomorrow, we will get you another bike, but this time I want you to lock the bicycle up when you are not using it.”
“Yes, mom” Lucas replied.
“And Lucas,” his mother gently voiced as she was leaving the room, “People who hurt sometimes spread that hurt around to others like a cold.” Lucas sighed as he looked at his mother. She continued, “You don’t aways know what is going on in someone’s life to cause them to act the way they do. In time, you will find out people were doing the best they could at those particular stages of their life, understand?”
“I think so mom,” Lucas replied.
“Either way, don’t you go spreading your cold to others,” His mother winked and smiled as she left the room.
Lucas that night meditated on how his mother was able to forgive Kevin just like that. After all, It was his mother’s hard earned money that bought the bike. She was just as affected by Kevin’s actions. Yet, she forgave Kevin with a gentleness and hope that the friendship would continue.
Lucas would find out a year later the deep pain his friend was carrying around. The pain that his mother already knew about, but never vocalized it to her son.
You see, material things can be restored, rebuilt, or made anew. Anything that is taken away from us today can be returned tomorrow, so to speak, in God’s eyes. God’s love is more compassionate than a mother’s love. Notice how God’s word shares this with us,
Can a woman forget her nursing child Or have no compassion for the son of her womb? Even if these women forget, I would never forget you. – Isaiah 49:15
And can you appreciate further PS 27:10?
“Even if my own father and mother abandon me, Jehovah himself will take me in.”
Do you appreciate God’s compassion? Yet, at times, understandably so, you fume when treated unfairly or with little dignity from others.
Keep this in mind, ok?
Just think, when someone prolongingly treats another human badly who makes efforts to show gentleness, kindness, and peace in her or his heart; what does it show of both individuals? One will develop traits that the True God is looking for; namely, love, hope, and faith that God will take care of matters at his designated time.
Return evil for evil to no one.Take into consideration what is fine from the viewpoint of all men. If possible, as far as it depends on you, be peaceable with all men. Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but yield place to the wrath; for it is written: “‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay,’ says Jehovah.” – Romans 12: 17-21
Now just give further thought to this. When a loving parent sees a wayward child hurting him or herself what is the first reaction of the wise parent? Yes, to see where they can help the child. Sometimes the parent will even tell the other siblings to give the wayward child some slack or back off as the parents work with the child. What happens if the siblings retaliate or demand something bad be done to the wayward child while the parent is readjusting them? Oh, it can make matters worse for all who are involved.
Like the example with Lucas’ mom, you may see the parent forgive the child more times than you can count. Why is this so important to observe? How will the other siblings respond to the parents’ goodness shown the child?
Ponder this thought further, who would want to harbor resentment or even attack an individual God has forgiven?
Insight on the Scriptures –Forgiveness
Moreover, forgiving others for personal offenses, regardless of the number of times involved, is a Christian requirement. (Lu 17:3, 4; Eph 4:32; Col 3:13) God’s forgiveness is not extended toward those who refuse to forgive others. (Mt 6:14, 15)
Hey, no one is saying that this is always easy. But “let anyone who has ears listen,” and to make a definite statement like Jesus says: “I am telling you the Truth;” if you are reading this, then everyone with reasoning ability has the power to work on changing themselves for the better. It boils down to this simple question: “Do you want to?”
Too, we should relate the benefits of forgiving someone.
From a good relationship with others to a good relationship with God.
Being a happier person. You protect your health from the detrimental effects of seething anger.
Christians know that in this flawed state of sin all humans are trapped in right now that we will at times pain one another. However, here is the quote I shared that 99% of you have not seen that Christians do their best to apply in word, deed and spirit. Please pay very close attention to the next reference.
Watchtower 99 10/15 – Forgive From Your Heart
Significantly, Jesus did not say to go to your brother to convince him that you were in the right and that he was in the wrong. Maybe he was. More probably, there was some fault on each side. In any case, the goal should not be to get the other party to concede, to grovel, as it were. If that is how you approach the discussion, failure will be almost certain. Nor should the goal necessarily be to review every detail of the real or imagined offense. When calm discussion in the spirit of Christian love reveals a sad misunderstanding at the core of the problem, you can both try to clear that up. But even if the discussion does not lead to total agreement, is that always necessary? Would it not be better if you at least could agree that you both sincerely want to serve our forgiving God? When you face that reality, it may be easier for each to say from the heart, “I am sorry that in our imperfection we had this difference. Please, let us pass beyond it.”
[Italicizes and bold print added]
Even if a person needs/needed some time and distance, to allow the fire to go out, it helps in the healing process to take the above advice to heart. Why? Because, dear readers, you will grow and the God who created all things, whose name is Jehovah, will heal all who understand and wants to do HIS will.
So how far will you drive?
It is possible for individuals to drive or move forward in pursuits he or she didn’t know was possible; however, Jehovah God knows with his help all things are possible. Looking at them intently, Jesus said to them: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”-Matthew 19:26
The book Insight on the Scriptures publishers are jw.org
You can look up the Holy Bible online at jw.org
Sidenote: A free home bible study will teach the importance of “Principle Love” for all people.
It was about 5 years later. Lucas borrowed Kevin’s car to pick up groceries from the grocery store and parked it in an area where there was little lighting. As he backed, backed, backed; “CRUUUUNNNNNCCHH!” Oh, this did not sound good at all. How could that little fire hydrant cause so much harm to the car? Lucas was ashamed when he drove the car to Kevin’s house. As Kevin left the house and approached to examine the damage Lucas described to him, he said, “That’s okay. You forgave me when I needed you the most. I learned from you how to forgive.”