Wednesday, November 4, 2009
It was Paul's half-brother who caused all the problems, same father, different mother. It was the other mother (not Paul's) who had guaranteed the loan, so now she is having to sell her little store and home to cover the debt. By the end of the week, the case against Paul's mother will be dropped and all will be back to normal. I don't know what upset Paul more, the possibility of his losing his home and the problems that would cause for his mother, sister, and the AIDS orphans living with them OR the betrayal by his half-brother who lived in the same house with him. Betrayal is very hard to deal with, especially by those you had loved and respected. From Bernie Madoff's victims, to spouses hurt by cheating, to clergy gone bad, it is all one of the most painful emotional injuries you can receive and difficult to endure--yet the message of Christ is to forgive (not to grant amnesty or freedom from consequences) to take away the power of the one who hurt you to continue to inflict that pain. Do protect yourself from further harm, but also free yourself. Carrie Fisher once wrote that resentment is like taking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die. She was right. So was Christ. There is no freedom without forgiveness and for Christians, it is not optional. Check your Bible in Matthew where Christ is telling the disciples how to pray. It is a hard message for many of us, but a truth we cannot deny. Paul does not hate his brother, neither should we hate ours.