We’ve been inundated with stories of lies lately, haven’t we? I’ve read stories about both Lance Armstrong and Manti Te’o on news apps on my iPhone, watched talk show pundits give their two cents, and yes, I tuned in to see Oprah’s ground-breaking interview. I watched two very different men dealing with two sides of the same coin. One needs forgiveness for the lies he told; the other is the victim of lies told to him.
Two different stories with the same results: hurt, betrayal, and distrust.
Everyone has an opinion, of course. A quick scan of the internet leaves no doubt that most people want to see justice done in both cases. Naturally, we all want to see the bad guy get what he deserves, to suffer the consequences of his actions, and to see justice served.
Unless, of course, we’re the bad guy.
When we’re the one on the hot seat, we take a much different approach, don’t we? We hope people will assume the best about us, give us the benefit of the doubt, give us a second chance, or lessen the penalty. After all, we had good intentions, right? If they knew our heart, they wouldn’t be too hard on us, right? Yep, that what we hope to get….but it’s not always what we give.
This weekend at Mountain Lake, we took a closer look at a story of betrayal and forgiveness. No, we didn’t watch Lance Armstrong’s interview. We listened to a story Jesus told in Luke 15 about a son who betrayed his father. As the story unfolds, the father forgives, but the older brother harbors bitterness that his brother didn’t suffer more consequence from his bone-headed choices.
Our pastor shared an incredibly thought-provoking message, and in the end asked us a piercing question:
Who do you identify more with: the father or the older brother?
Do you tend to forgive others and release the pain of past hurts like the father, or do you find yourself angry or bitter about wrongs committed against you?
Sometimes, it’s not a matter of forgiveness; it’s a matter of future trust. This weekend, Shawn helped us all find a way to release forgiveness and navigate the trust issue by showing us how Jesus responds to those who hurt Him. If you missed this weekend’s message – or you simply need to soak it in one more time – click here to watch it for yourself.
And, join us next week at Mountain Lake as we continue Makin’ A Comeback. It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over!