Sunday, November 6, 2011

He's Dead

A man who had at one time really hurt our family died this week. When I read about it I was shocked at first and then my second emotion was one of sorrow for his family, but I can honestly say that was it; as far as my feelings went. I didn't mourn him myself, nor was I glad at his passing. I really had no thoughts on it at all.

 That was until I began to see Facebook status posts about what a wonderful man he was and how he will be so missed by his many friends and family. When the people making the posts actually told of his many humanitarian efforts, I felt a twinge of anger enter my heart. Didn't they know what he had done to us? Didn't they know the other side of him? Didn't they know what he was capable of and how he had almost destroyed our ministry and our family?Did no one care?

While these thoughts were swirling through my head, the Lord spoke to me and said very clearly to me: 'everyone will give an answer to how they have acted one day'. (So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.Romans 14:12) Then I realized that it wasn't up to me to judge this man. I thought I had forgiven him years ago but that little anger that rose up in me reminded me that I hadn't let it all go. But I did when the Lord spoke to me. I forgave him and let the anger go.

Can you imagine walking around Heaven some day and crossing to the other side of the golden street to avoid certain Christians who you couldn't get along with here on earth? No, of course not. God clearly says that if you hate your brother but say you love God that you are a liar and we know that liars cannot occupy Heaven.(If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 1 John 4:20) So if I want to go to Heaven some day, which I do, I have to be prepared to see this man who so badly hurt me many years ago. Because he was a Christian, I know that he is in Heaven right now and I will see him again.

It would be a perfect world if Christians acted like they were supposed to all the time, wouldn't it? But that isn't the real world.. Christians still sin. They don't make a habit of sinning but they can stumble and sin. Hopefully they repent of it quickly and seek forgiveness so they can be restored to a right relationship with God. But the fact remains that sometimes Christians hurt Christians. When they do, we need to leave them up to God and forgive them and move on with our life.

As I thought about it, it didn't really matter any more if anyone knew what this man had done, God knew and that's enough for me. When I die I wouldn't want everyone saying what a terrible person I was. I would hope that they remember the good things I have done in my life and would be willing to forget the blunders. And those people that I have hurt, I would hope they could forgive me and let it go.

I always found it strange, that the worst reprobate suddenly becomes a saint once he dies, to those who knew him. I guess that custom goes back to not speaking ill of the dead lest you curse yourself. While I think honesty is the best policy at all times, maybe it is better to just remember the good in people's lives and not the bad because even the worst of people have some redeeming quality in them....don't they?

So I choose to speak as positively as I can. I choose not to judge others, even those who despitefully use me. And I choose to leave them up to God.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:44

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