After one year of attending Channin Elementary School, within walking distance of my house, desegregation bused me into the city of Wilmington, Delaware. For the next three years, Harlan Elementary became my new school home. This drastic change was eye opening. Whenever a student broke a rule, became disobedient or get caught doing something illegal, rarely did I hear, “my bad, I did it, I’m guilty.” Instead, students were often dragged to the office, kicking and screaming, escorted by one or more administrators.
For you, my brothers, were called to freedom; only do not let your freedom become an opportunity for the sinful nature (worldliness, selfishness), but through love serve and seek the best for one another, Galatians 5:13.
Today, whenever someone feels like they have been treated unjustly, social media has become a popular site to air your grievances. While there are many options to choose, Facebook and Twitter are filled with rants daily. Instead of thinking before individuals press send, emotions stir the pot, building up until one final act boils over to form a vicious tweet. Once posted, souls attempt to bite and devour one another, plummeting the gutter to an all time low. While the prudent thing to do is walk away, the sinful nature can’t resist to pile on by fighting back.
But if you bite and devour one another [in bickering and strife], watch out that you [along with your entire fellowship] are not consumed by one another, Galatians 5:15.
The context of the two passages above are sandwiched by a verse referring to the Golden Rule, treating others as you want to be treated. Jesus uses this principle at the conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer, adding a condition to forgiveness. According to Matthew 6:14-15, your forgiveness is dependent upon how you treat and forgive others who trespass against you. Jesus is clear, “if you don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive you.” Near the end of this gospel, Matthew 25:30, Jesus reveals what will happen on judgement day to those who harbor bitterness. failing to forgive. Not only will these unfortunate souls be dragged away, kicking and screaming, eternity will be spent weeping, wishing they would have chosen love over hatred.
by Jay Mankus