Your anger may be righteous and your cause noble. Perhaps in reading the
contents of this website - your sense of justice has burned with the need for
retribution against evildoers of all sorts - especially those who proclaim
themselves to be God's ambassadors while serving only a diet of lies to their
victims. Nobody can deny that there is no
shortage of victims when discussing this subject matter. I understand.
You know I do.
What I have come to realize amidst my own personal battles (-even during the construction of this website and entire movement) with these feelings - is that the only path to healing is through a process that many people do not understand (because if they did - they would take the step at once).
The process is called "forgiveness". Forgiveness is an act that requires the belief that I myself do not make a perfect judge and therefore I will abandon my sense of retribution against those who have done evil against me; -Instead, -leaving the matter firmly in God's hands.
Forgiveness is not an act that declares the evil to be justified, - nor even nullified. Instead, -it is an act of faith that known that God's judgment is perfect and that He will determine was sort of punishment must be exacted to right what is wrong. And know this: The PRICE WILL BE PAID. The gigantic fork in the theological road rests on the issue of WHO PAYS IT. Forgiveness forms the legal basis of assigning a new PAYEE to each of our moral deficits.
And the greatest reason to forgive others is because you need the benefit of forgiveness, too. How many times have we done things that harmed other people? Maybe it was merely a matter of hurt feelings or a misunderstanding. Maybe it was worse. Much worse?
From a Christian perspective, - the reason Yeshua (Jesus) came was to provide an avenue by which people could stand before God's face as justified through forgiveness. And that forgiveness came at a horrible price -- the death of a completely innocent person who had spent his entire life doing great good to those around him. The account of the death of Yeshua (Jesus) is recorded within the Bible's New Testament. Some of us need to read it until we perceive the price he paid -so that it would be possible for those who had imperfect pasts to stand in proxy as righteous by reason that Yeshua stood in proxy for those who lacked righteousness. And the deal is - that in order for you to receive his pardon, -you must be willing to pardon others of your own judgment and leave them in God's.
Remember - the act of forgiving is not the same as declaring a person to be innocent. Forgiveness is YOU deciding that YOU are not going to seek justice in your own determination as to the price to be paid. And in that monumental choice to let it go so that God's judgment would reign instead of your own, -- you receive right-standing before God and something amazing happens that goes beyond the decision. A change occurs inside the person who forgives - often a change that is so radical that people notice that "something is different". This is because someONE is different: The one who truly forgives, -changes. You see -Yeshua arose from the dead. There is a new life awaiting those who proverbially "die" to their own agendas. But who can believe such a thing? Indeed. Simply: The one who chooses to.
See, everyone wants proof of God's existence. Christians (those who've truly had this experience) have seen God because we know who we once were and what we had been like in our actions BEFORE our encounter with the one who forgives. We have not seen Him with our eyes. We've seen Him with our whole being - so that it has changed us (many of us - within a single day in out lives). This is why John writes that "no one who has seen God continues to sin". The Scripture also says that no man can see God and live. Exactly. This is why God gives His spirit to those who have obeyed his message. And this is why people who have believed/obeyed the Gospel are changed. Which is why the apostle writes: "So it is not I who live, but Christ.". Possessed by God? Yes. It is an arrangement that begins at forgiveness and rapidly moves from there.
But the battle to forgive is lifelong. It seems that the challenge is to constantly forgive new sleights and people who may come into our sphere and offend. The temptation is to take the offense into our own hands and judge what is appropriate "payback" ourselves. The battle is won every time when we let it go and leave it with God.
And it can be a battle. Sometimes the offense seems so great and our cost so high - to simply "let it go into the hands of God" seems too simplistic - as if we're letting somebody "get away" with something. They are NOT "getting away" with anything! As a matter of fact: God will catch details that need judgment that you didn't even know existed. And according to the Scripture - do you know who gets judged more severely? Leaders (religious too). Yeah. The vipers who lied about same-sex affection and drove people to despair and to destroying their own lives because of the lies they were told about God, sexuality and the like; --those vipers who told the lies are going to have the very end they threatened others with - and they'll have it multiplied in magnitude by the number of lives they destroyed!
I suppose that perspective is shaped by our own ideas about God and how He deals with wrongdoing. The Scriptures make it clear that God demands justice and His deadly seriousness about the fullness of the matter is well documented in the Scripture. This is precisely why we need to trust in his judgment and rest on the effectiveness of the sacrifice of Yeshua - in order to make a way for us.
"By whatever measure you use, - it will be measured back to you." - Yeshua.
To those who have ever wronged me: I forgive you. Sometimes it has seemed a battle, but in the name of peace & reconciliation with God - I choose to forgive; -& if you ever find me behaving in a manner not consistent with this decision, -please show me.
To those I have wronged: I am truly sorry. Please extend to me your forgiveness. I will do my best to see that it does not become an offense between us ever again.