Monday, August 17, 2009

Truth, Forgiveness, and My First Blog Post

By: Mitchell Lynn

Forgive me, I am new to this blogging thing, so if my thoughts are random, or boring, I apologize. I will work on presenting logical, entertaining blogs to you loyal followers. I was given the opportunity to intern this summer at Foothills Bible Church in Littleton, Colorado. Part of my duties for this job included preaching, hanging with students, and teaching Sunday school. A couple Sundays ago I taught on an often forgotten book in the Bible, Philemon. Wait… is that in the Old Testament or New? This tiny letter (only 25 verses) is found between the New Testament books of Titus and Hebrews. While studying this intimate letter, a few things stuck out to me.

One of the First things I noticed was the search for truth that Onesimus hungers for. See Onesimus was a slave, and while slavery then was a lot different than the slavery we understand in the United States, (in fact, freedom was a relative term in the Ancient Near East) he still had very limited rights. Onesimus leaves his owner, Philemon, and makes his way from Colosse to Rome (about 1,300 miles) in search of Paul. A lot of different ideas were going around Colosse about Jesus. In fact, this is why Colossians was written. But Onesimus wants to know the truth so he leaves all that he knows, and heads to the only reliable source that he knows, Paul.

Where is this kind of devotion to truth today? We question truth, ignore truth, and completely deny that any kind of truth exists. This epidemic is haunting our culture and is a threat to our youth. As Christians we need to search and dig for the truth of scripture, and proclaim that truth to a confused generation. 2nd Corinthians 4:2 says: “Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God”.

Another thing that stuck out to me was the power of forgiveness. Paul’s thesis for writing the letter was to urge Philemon to forgive Onesimus. Pleading with Philemon to take him back. It doesn’t matter what he did, Paul sends the letter to Philemon saying that this man is now your brother in Christ, so do the right thing and forgive him. How hard is it for us to forgive those who hurt us? Gandhi once said: “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Paul does not order Philemon to forgive him, he wants him to do the right thing on his own. He wants him to forgive Onesimus, just as Christ has forgiven him.

My fiancĂ©e Anna illustrates forgiveness almost every day. I have made huge mistakes in my life that have lasting consequences, yet without hesitation, she forgives me for those mistakes I have made. Anna sees the forgiveness that Jesus has given her on the cross, and she lives out that forgiveness every day. Colossians 3:13 tells us: “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you”.

Have you received the forgiveness that Jesus offered on the Cross? Christians, are you offering forgiveness to those who have wronged you?

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”

—Martin Luther King Jr.

1 comment:

  1. Your first question hit me hard. When I read, "Where is that kind of devotion today?" i really had to sit back and ponder that. I am big on Truth, but Onesimus really displays the importance of seeking out the true Truth. Good post.


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