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A young lady was relating an experience that she had in a seminary class with her teacher; we'll call him Brother Smith. She said that Brother Smith was known for his elaborate object lessons.
This particular day when Sally walked into seminary she could tell they were in for another fun day. There was a big target on the wall and a table full of darts. Brother Smith told the students to draw a picture of someone that they disliked or someone who had made them angry and he would let them throw some darts at the picture.
Sally's girlfriend on the right drew a picture of the girl who had stolen her boyfriend. Her friend, on her left side, drew a picture of his little brother. Sally decided to draw a picture of Brother Smith. She really put a lot of detail into her drawing, even to the extent to drawing pimples on his face. She was really pleased at the overall effect she had achieved.
The class lined up and was really getting into the dart throwing, with much laughter and a lot of hilarity involved. Some of the darts were thrown with such force that the pictures were ripped. Sally was toward the end of the line, and filled with disappointment when Brother Smith, because of time limits, asked the students to return to their seats.
Sally was thinking how mad she was that she hadn't been able to throw darts at her picture of Brother Smith. The classroom had been quite chaotic during the dart throwing. Then Brother Smith removed the target from the wall and revealed the picture of Jesus that had been directly underneath the target.
A complete hush fell over the room as the students viewed the torn picture, the eyes pierced out, and marks and holes all over the Savior.
Brother Smith said only these words, "In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Nothing else was necessary as the tear-filled eyes of the students were riveted on the picture of Christ. The students remained in their seats even after the bell had rung, then slowly trickled out of the classroom.
You know, I guess it's just part of human nature to want to hate and retaliate- and I certainly cannot say that I've not wanted to throw a few darts myself. The real problem is that as long as we are on this side of heaven, we will have a tendency in us to be offended- and also to seek revenge.
But honestly, doesn't God understand our anger and the need to not let people get away with the hurt and pain they have caused us???
Yes and no.
Yes in the sense that He can relate to being hurt. In fact, Jesus endured more pain and suffering as a human than any other human who has or ever will live. Abuse, scorn, rejection, betrayal, torture, abandonment, and eventually murder...do you think you can trade stories with Him? Then know for a fact that He knows exactly how you feel during those moments of mistreatment- and yet He never once threw a dart back anyone's way. One of His final statements while He was hanging from the cross was: "Father, forgive these people, because they don't know what they are doing" (Luke 23:24)
No in the sense that God will never understand why anyone would outright reject His plan for life. Since this whole idea of existence was His idea, it must blow His mind that His very own creatures would snub their noses at His Word because they think they know better.
What am I talking about? Simple...unforgiveness and revenge- in other words: dart throwing. Over and over again it is forbidden in Scripture. I guess where God is coming from is that since He loves you so much, He hates to see you lock yourself in a prison of anger that hurts no one but yourself. I personally believe that two of Satan's greatest tools for shipwrecking a Christian are the sin of anger and the root of bitterness. If you are anywhere near being in that condition, let the Sword of God's Words cut through the ropes of revenge that bind you from God's plan:
Don't talk about your neighbors behind their backs--no slander or gossip, please. Don't say to anyone, "I'll get back at you for what you did to me. I'll make you pay for what you did!" (Proverbs 24:28-30- The Message)
If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15)
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. (Mark 11:25)
"Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. Stop criticizing others, or it will all come back on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37)
You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. (Colossians 3:13)
No one said this would be easy, but the truly rewarding things in life rarely are. Just remember that you must give your pain to God, sometimes several times a day, if you eventually want to be free. Can you imagine what life would be like in all our lives if we all just grew up and quit holding grudges?
Forgiveness: it's the anti-dart.
Dare 2 Share is a church assisting ministry that provides resources for youth leaders and equips teens to relationally and relentlessly reach their generation for Christ. Over 1,400 of these resources are provided completely FREE! D2S also conducts nationwide youth evangelism training conferences. The events are structured for students in junior high and high school, ranging from 12 to 18 years old. Regardless of gender or denomination, D2S teaches from a Christian perspective. D2S is based in Denver, Colorado and has impacted the lives of more than 300,000 teens since 1991.
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