Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
Colossians 3:12-14 ESV
After sitting in the car, waiting rooms or doctor appointments (not to mention almost three hours in the MRI machine), my attempts to write a few emails Thursday evening were fatal as I was so cold, I just couldn’t function–namely my hands. I heated the scarf my aunt gave me (it is designed that way…therapeutic), got cozy, put on my slippers, made some tea and sat down to watch the movie– The Second Chance. It has been a long time since I have watched the movie; and I only thought of it, because my friend and I had brought it up during our coffee chat a few weeks ago.
The movie is set in America–typical big city where you have the “rich” side of town and then the other. In this case, the story is themed over the church–on the rich side, it is The Rock. However, their roots started at the sister church on the poor side of town. “The Second Chance” church serves the community in that part of town. The movie encircles faith in action…0n the common ground: getting out of your comfort zone; laying down pride; living by faith; serving, loving, forgiving.
I am not going to spoil the movie, but I will say that Pastor Jake’s ending less-than-five-minutes speech is one of the best sermons I have ever heard. It is profound and so truthful. In light of the movie’s events, he reminds his congregation that they are commanded to love their enemies, even in the face of injustice.
Jesus said to love our enemies and pray for them (Matthew 5:43-48). I don’t have enemies (not to my knowledge), but in terms, there are certain individuals both in my past and a few in the present in which I hold bitter thoughts towards. In loving my enemies, I am also commanded to forgive my enemies; and although I do not see them as “enemies,” the fact I am bitter towards them sort of implies enemy status. Those in my past, I have no contact with anymore; the forgiveness is now between me and the Lord.
The present bitterness is caused by the feeling of injustice; I feel robbed of time over the past few months mainly in the area of driving. The lack of trust and inconsistency of “concerns” resulting in a long period of waiting caused me to become angry. I felt angry for my family–the extra burden it placed on them during that time. And just when I can drive, my car goes in the shop for a week; why didn’t I just take it over (three minutes down the road) when I was not dependent on it? So I am angry at myself for being too nice–for trying too hard to not “do anything wrong.”
The question is then, “How long do I wish to remain angry? Bitter?” It will only keep me in the past, which is where I don’t want to be anyway. Forgiveness is hard; like prayer, it is easier to mouth than mean it sincerely in your heart. It may not be a drastic change overnight, but the choice is mine: will I love, pray and forgive my enemies–just as God in Christ did for me? (Ephesians 4:32)