Kill the Opposition 03/26/2014
Knowing that I might not be to full steam after my surgery and realizing the new Joshua Generation month on “godliness” would be starting, I chose an article by one of our former preachers, Neil Richey to introduce the month. I will make some application comments at the end.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “I destroy my enemy when I make him my friend.” Have you taken out your opposition with kindness lately? Or, have you stooped to the level of the one making your life miserable by treating him or her just as they have been treating you? E.H. Chapin had it right when he said, “Never does the human soul appear so strong and noble as when it forgoes revenge and dares to forgive an injury.” The Bible tells us, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Mt. 6:14-15).
Forgiveness is one of the more difficult practical elements of Christianity. It’s almost natural to want to hold on to hard feelings, and not let go of the hurt that one has caused you. But in this passage, Jesus warns us against such a spirit of malice. He reminds us that if we want to experience forgiveness, we must likewise learn to forgive. It’s not an easy matter, so here’s something that might help to put it into perspective:
For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him (Rm. 5:7-9).
As difficult as it may be to forgive one who sins against you, and as easy as it may be to hold a grudge, try killing your opposition with kindness. Who knows, your enemy may just become your friend. Neil
You might ask, what does this have to do with godliness. The primary meaning of the Biblical word godliness is “to have reverence or respect” for things that are holy. When we forgive we show reverence for the choice and wisdom of Christ and the Father in their desire to forgive us. When we refuse forgiveness we are saying that we are a better judge than Christ, that the people he thought worth dying for are not worthy of our forgiveness. Every time we are sinned against and have the choice to forgive, let us bow in reverence once again at the foot of the cross thankful for the forgiveness of our own dark sins. Then we may be more willing to forgive our fellow man.