H.O.W. to Heap Burning Coals
We all usually have, or hear of daily situations, with some people that do not respect the basic rules of social behavior. How could we confront these situations? This question struggles in the debate between the actions to be performed; as the heat of emotions struggle, while "something inside" reminds us about a better world. In that precise moment, does it make pertinent the words in Romans 12:20 where it says:
"On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."?
How do we put burning coal (carbon used as fuel) on top of somebody? We are humans, and created with a spirit, a soul and flesh; for than everything ought not be taken literally.
Let's read this example for a better, modern definition. I invite you to put yourself in both shoes...the attacker and the victim. Meditate and write the lesson from them in your heart for that moment when our hormones may blind our self control.
Ameneh Bahrami Vs. Majid Movahedi
This is the case about two Iranians in which the victim left a forgiveness legacy. Ameneh Bahrami (born in 1978) was attacked in 2004 by Majid Movahedi. He threw acid in her face. At first she wanted him to have the same fate. She was demanding the punishment of 'an eye for an eye', since her blindness was part of the consequences of the attack.
When the time of revenge finally was settled in 2011, Ameneh stopped the punishment in the behalf of forgiveness. Wow, how many of us have the courage, or kindness to make either decision? Majid was pardoned of the sentence to blindness, just as we are forgiven.
1 John 1: 9 says: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." Are we able to do the same to those that transgress against us? I believe we can, for a better world. For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)
Iranian woman pardons man for acid attack
An eye for an eye
Forgiving is not easy
We will stumble with those who fear the loss of some kind of power. They could become less rational with insecure feelings, embracing the need of using their authority by any means. This is kind of what happened to Jesus Christ as read in Luke 6:7:
"The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath."
His lesson was:
"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."
(Matthew 5:38 - 39).
Forgiving is not easy because forgetting is hard to do; this is why we need to seek healing strategies everyday in order to be strong, to be able to fight without getting hurt or trespassing the golden rule:
" Do to others as you would have them do to you."
Instead of dwelling on revengeful thoughts we ought to find the way out of the effects caused by wounds (seen and unseen). Those effects might be: bitterness, depression and resentment. Be still and know that God is the Lord is more true than the sun that warms your flesh. Hebrews 10:30 says:
"For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people."
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Some situations may only involve a couple, but others involve a country like the case of Uganda in dealing with the aftermath of war crimes by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), as they challenge forgiveness for a better world.
Forgiveness is like heaping burning coals: It refines us and our enemies like the glow that comes out from a metal by the warmth from the burning coals heaped upon them. It will bring pain, at the same time it will purify just like it drosses the silver from below the metal. How many times we say "I feel melted"... love gives that wonderful sensation, when we melt, we fall on the arms of the beloved.
Let us become purified; melted for a better world by "forgiving".
Blessings to all!
© Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill
The challenge of forgiveness
© 2013 Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill
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