Long on Memory But Short on Forgiveness

Long on Memory But Short on Forgiveness

Dick Brant

     While relaxing and reading a mystery novel, this line came up quite often, " He is long on memory but short on forgiveness." I don't think this is the best trait for anyone especially a child of God.

     I feel sure each of us knows someone or heard of someone that it just seems to be their mission, to get even or possibly get ahead. They just have that ability to remember and replay their hurts and slights, as they perceive them, to anyone that will listen. Now, as for forgiveness, that word, well it is just not in their vocabulary. They remember everything!

     God has given us a plan to address a difficulty with a brother or sister in Christ, and it is quite simple when you look at it, notice God's plan with me. 

     Matthew 5:23-24, "23 Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering."

     On the other side of the coin, is when you have something against your brother, that is he has sinned against you. Matthew 18:15-17 tells us how we should act. "If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private if he listens to you, you have won your brother.  "But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. 17 "If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector."

     In both cases did you will notice that "you" are the one that does the going. It is clear if he has something against you, or you have something against a brother, "you" do the going. 

     It is not God's plan that you wait it out until they come to you, they may not even know you have been offended by them. So, you do the going. 

     Our attitude is everything.  Looking at Ephesians 4:31-32 we have this, 31 "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

     Again, in Colossians 3:12-14 we find these words, 12 "So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity."

     Last, consider the words of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 6:14-15, "For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. "But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions."

     So, let us be short on memory and long on forgiveness. Let us also, be the one to go to the person when there is something that is not right, and remember we are to be forgiving. That is God's plan.