April 23, 2020

Yesterday, Larry, one of our very faithful members, called to ask about the wellbeing of another member of the church. I was very glad to talk to him because he is one of the most genuine, sincere people I have ever met.

As we visited, we talked about the strangeness of this time and that one day we would finally get to worship in the sanctuary.

I said, “The good news about how we are worshipping now is that I don’t actually get so see people fall asleep during my sermon.” Larry said, “Rest assured, it’s still happening.” I took that as a Freudian slip.

Now that Larry has confessed to sleeping through my sermons, I have to decide; do I hold a grudge or forgive?

Just for the record, no one is better at holding a grudge than I am. In fact, it may be my greatest gift.

The problem with holding a grudge is that it becomes toxic. No good ever comes from it.

So, if you are a petty, little, insecure, easily offended, chip on your shoulder person like I am, these words from Paul are especially important: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32)

Always choose to forgive. It’s the right answer.

Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, in those moments when I am tempted to hold a grudge, remind me of your forgiveness and the cost of your Son’s life. Free me from being a petty person. Help me be the person you created me to be. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

When I was in seminary, an old pastor told me that if I was going to last as a pastor, I would have to have the heart of a dove and the hide of a rhino. He was right.

Also, just for the record, I know many in our congregation are wondering which Larry sleeps through my sermons. I am not going to use his last name because I don’t want to embarrass Rosalind.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.
Tom Robbins