Sometimes forgiveness is hard.

Matthew 6:14-15:
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

I sold my convertible to a really nice couple back in October. I got a bad vibe from the husband, but the wife was so nice (and so happy to get my convertible) that I pushed those thoughts aside. Besides, I had been trying to sell that car for three months, and was tired of paying insurance on two cars, plus paying for ads in the newspaper. It’s ironic that I work in advertising, and yet, I couldn’t figure out a way to get rid of that car.

They paid me in cash… all but $100. It’s a long story, but I took a check for the last $100 (against my better judgment… a little voice kept telling me to say no, but I was desperate to get rid of that car). When I went to deposit that check, the husband had put a “stop payment” on the check. So I’m out $100, and worse yet, I feel like I was taken advantage of.

I called and talked to him, and he promised to send me a new check. That was on Nov. 21, so it has been a month, and still no check. I called him 2-3 more times, and then my dad called him, and still no answer. I’m so angry about that silly $100! It’s not about the money, it’s about the principle. I feel duped, and I hate that.

So how am I supposed to forgive this man? This man, who obviously doesn’t deserve my forgiveness? This man, who probably knew all along he could take advantage of me and I wouldn’t have any options for response? This man, who made me feel stupid?

Surely Jesus didn’t mean that I have to forgive EVERYBODY. I mean, some people just don’t deserve it. I think I’m justified in being angry, maybe even hating this man who basically stole money from me. He’s wrong. I’m right. He deserves to be punished. And definitely NOT forgiven.

Oh wait… my Jesus forgave the very people who crucified him on the cross (Luke 23:34). So why would I think that I’m an exception?

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