The nuts and bolts of the GospelPost date: 2017-08-25
The nuts and bolts of the Gospel
How much we have been deceived by different views of the Scripture. We have forgotten to live the Scripture. The Scripture gives us directions for life. So we need to begin to learn slowly and seriously the nuts and bolts: e.g. Jesus says, “If your brother has something against you, go and be reconciled to your brother.” In other words – e.g. your brother vents his anger and rebukes you unjustly and now there is a tense situation. He becomes aware of his guilt afterwards, and is overcome with sorrow. He doesn’t know what to do, how to apologize, and tension increases. An old proverb says ‘Silence is gold’, but in this case silence is hell – the atmosphere grows more and more tense and affects the people around too. Gloomy faces on both sides, and self-pity is working at full speed. The devil and the old self bring thousands of arguments against the brother and present his behaviour as the supreme crime. What to do? Who should make the first step, or rather, who is obliged to? According to the Gospel, he who has been wronged is obliged to make the first step. You have been wronged, and moreover, your brother has something against you! So you have to make the first step and not wait until your brother does so! When you realize in prayer that you must go and you would not go, then however good your prayer may be, you are disobedient to Jesus! Surely, you can pray, but your prayer in such a situation should be as follows: stand by the cross in spirit, remember the teachings of Jesus about love and forgiveness, you can give thanks for the rebuke and realize that maybe you are without guilt now but you thus suffer for your hidden sins. Realize that your brother did not have any deliberate ill intention when he did you wrong. Perhaps he was meaning well, or he simply wanted to get his own way and was unable to put himself in your position, and so he hurt you without meaning to. Think of the principle: “The good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practise.” (Rom 7:19) These are the words of St Paul, who continues: “It is no longer I who do it, but (original) sin that dwells in me.” How many times you want to say something, to encourage someone, and instead you give away what should be kept secret. At other times, there is an opportunity when your word can help a soul to be born for God and saved, and you keep silent. You want to do good, but you do evil! Yes, every day you are deceived by your feelings, your reason etc. And is your brother not deceived in the same way as you?! Why should you always accuse him of ill will when he hurts you somehow?! But if you deny yourself and you do what you know you should do (i.e. go and be reconciled to your brother) and e.g. by saying something neutral you show him that you are not angry with him, you will thus help him get out from under the cloud of anger, self-pity and deceit. If you make this step, the Lord will always give you the light and knowledge afterwards!
How long to wait? “Let not the sun go down on your wrath.” Never put off till tomorrow! It gives rise to a mountain of obstacles!
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