Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Forgiveness Doesn't Mean Wimpness

One thing you should know about this blog is that I never promised or will be the "perfect Christian" - because I'm not. There are plenty of those about - I hardly need even mention them. Just reading them makes you ache to be like them because they seem so together and so "Christian". I on the other hand am real - and promise to always be real. If I'm rejoicing and celebrating - then I'll write about it. If I'm struggling - then I probably won't write but will after I've picked myself up. If I'm livid - then I'll write about that too.

And today - I'm livid. I had a pretty rubbish weekend struggling with various family issues back in Bristol (ever tried cooking an Easter roast dinner on your own with just gas hobs while family are at SGM church?!). And today brought a culmination of issues that have been grumbling at work to a head. I left work feeling like I am being manipulated emotionally and professionally by a whole host of people and being lied to - which I hate.

It left me thinking - what is really the difference between the world and the church? I've been lied to, manipulated and bullied by both church and world. What marks us out? What distinguishes us? I'm hoping to have a meeting with a key SGM leader here to finally deal with the messes of the past and lay them to rest and am actually really, really encouraged and daring to hope - he seems so gracious and so kind. But am I being foolish - are we really meant to be naive and gullible and get hurt again and again by manipulative people who take us for fools? Or are we meant to go to the other extreme and be cynical and bitter and untrusting and ungenerous? Or is there a balance to be found?

I know there is a balance - and am really trying to find it in my own life. I love people and hate hurting anyone and generally try to please everyone. I suspect the balance is to be found in the Person of Jesus Christ. But my point is - I don't think forgiveness means we have to be gullible. I like this "Girls Aloud" video performance of their song; "Control of the Knife". It's ironic that Cheryl Cole sang this (we think) as a warning to her husband Ashley. The line goes;

"You tricked me once - I won't let you trick me twice".

Here's the video:

I find Cheryl's face fascinating. Did you miss it in the video? Here it is again;

That is a girl I wouldn't mess with! And I think Jesus was a Man that you wouldn't mess with either! So here's hoping to getting the balance right one day - but for now ... I'm just angry. Church pastors (tending towards legalism) and NHS bosses ... beware!

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