Those of us in our mid-life years will readily remember the Don Henley song, "Dirty Laundry". (In fact, you probably had to sing the title in your head when you read it!) There is a phrase in the song that states, "Kick 'em when they're up, kick 'em when they're down; Kick 'em when they're stiff, kick 'em all around." Well, after a meeting I had with an old friend (old as in 'it's been a long time, old' not, old as in 'aged') I started thinking about how we, as Christians, do just that.
It's sad how we, who have been forgiven of ALL our sins by the blood of Jesus, have such a tendency to 'shoot our wounded', or 'kick 'em when they're down'. Why do we feel that we need to continue to hold someone else's sins against them, when Christ specifically tells us that we need to love each other as He loves us. If He can forgive them - why can't we?
It really amazes me that we can get so self-righteous and pious that we think that because someone may have made some mistakes, that seem so much bigger than our own, that they are somehow not worthy of forgiveness, reconciliation or friendship. It's especially laughable (not 'funny laughable', but rather 'sad laughable') that we will hold their shortcomings against them, even when they didn't do anything to us, personally.
Over the years, I have had several really close friends who have, for various and sundry reasons, gone through divorces. Now, the 'D' word may be taboo in many of our SBC churches - but it is not the unpardonable sin! In the cases of most of my friends, there were irreconcilable differences that prevented them from remaining together as spouses - but over the years, they have worked out their differences and have been able to mend friendships with each other. Here's the catch, though ... even though they have been able to forgive each other - friends, aquantances, ministerial leaders and others STILL hold the divorce against one or both of them!
How ridiculous is that!! I mean - if the two parties involved can forgive and move on - the rest of the world needs to get-a-grip and let it go! Life is too short and precious to 'black-ball' someone because of mistakes they have made. We need to cherish the friendships that God has given us - and realize that He is still on His throne, and is still in control.
Let's make it a goal in 2009 to mend relationships, reconcile differences and move forward with the Great Commission. As the old saying goes, "It's impossible to move forward if we keep looking in the rear view mirror."