Thursday, 10 December 2020
"To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments; according to The Sheminith. A Psalm of David. O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath. Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing; heal me, O LORD, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O LORD--how long? Turn, O LORD, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love. For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise? I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. 7 My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes." (Psalm 6:1-7, ESV)
These verses in Psalm 6 remind me of scripture from Matthew 18. Forgiveness is one of these active skills that will help be who we are in Yeshua. But, it is hard to forgive and that's why its often done incorrectly even though we get plenty of practice.
Psalms 6 begins with this deep felt disconnect between the psalmist and the Lord. He is trying to close the gap and return to joy by begging and pleading the Lord to help him and have mercy.
Finally, he is able to return to joy. The Lord has accepted his plea. In his inner conflict, he is able to utilize his relational skills and understand (actively) that the Lord has heard him.
"Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping. The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD accepts my prayer. All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment." (Psalm 6:8-10, ESV)
In Matthew 18:23-35, we are shown the need to be able to develop this skill of returning to joy by showing mercy. When the king was merciful to the servant, the servant lacked the skills necessary to be merciful through forgiveness to others. So, rather than being merciful and acting like who he was servant of the king, using the king's example, he went out and acted like someone who he wasn't and it cost him everything once the king found out.
Had this servant, practiced a skill of gratitude, he would have been able to have mercy and show forgiveness to others in a way that would have demonstrated the identity of his king. He would have been relational to the one who owed him.
This parable is set in the context of forgiveness in terms of relationship. It doesn't say let people walk all over you. It says you live in the kingdom of forgiveness and that is who you are. It says, you are entitled to forgive others to be relational. This is a kingdom skill that needs practice. In other words this forgiveness is for you.
It can be complicated in practice. This is why practice is necessary. For instance, that person who doesn't ask forgiveness may be depriving the one who needs to forgive. This violates loving your neighbors and your enemies. One may never ask for forgiveness. But, the last verse reminds us that forgiving is from the heart.
Finally, forgiveness and being relational doesn't always mean ignoring the consequences. There is no verse that says forgive and forget. And so it goes. It does get complicated because its about relationship and relationships are twisted. The point here is that we need to practice skills like this more than ever because our communities, our regions and our world needs an awakening and revival. They need to see and we need to see and transformed people (conformed into the image of Yeshua).
Daniel and Berelyn,