I’ve been wronged in my life. You have, too. Most all of us have at one point or another. Someone has said something untrue which caused us grief. Assumptions have led to broken relationships. Many of us know the truth of the old saw, “No good deed goes unpunished.” The disheartening thing is that its a pretty sure thing that we will face it again. But if this is so, the question becomes “how will you react?”
As Jesus hung upon the cross, the ultimate symbol of unjust punishment, His reaction MUST inform ours. The only human in history without sin dies a sinner’s death, the only perfect man is charged with every kind of evil. God Himself is wronged by humankind, and His reaction to it?
“Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they have done.”
This is not my usual reaction. When I’m wronged, my reactions move from self-doubt (“maybe they’re right and I’m wrong”) to fear (“what else might happen”) to anger (“how dare they accuse me of that”). But seldom is my initial reaction that of Jesus: forgiveness. And so I live this faltering life attempting to grow in my Christlikeness to the point where I can react to personal injustice with forgiveness. It’s not easy and I’m no where near that yet. But the act of sanctification, becoming holy and Christlike, is a life-long process, so I cut myself a little slack and continue the journey of learning.
May we all find the humility to forgive our wrong assumptions, then the slights, then the gossip, the lies, and finally the punishments we don’t deserve.