We are doing a preaching series on racial righteousness, and part of my message this Sunday will be on forgiveness. I happened to pick up the latest Thielicke book I am reading last night, “Christ and the Meaning of Life.” One of the chapters I read looked at the story of unmerciful servant: the man forgiven an extravagent debt who then turns and witholds forgiveness of a pittance from his brother.
Thielicke makes the point that, as forgiven children, we stand with one hand grasped by the mercy and grace of our Father. Our other hand is thus free to extend that same grace to our neighbors. He writes:
“Don’t you feel your hand in the hand of God? But what is your other hand doing? Is it a clenched fistâ€”or is it stretched out toward your neighbor so that the divine circuit can be closed and thus allow the current of creative power to flow into you? Our left hand is capable of doing something very different from our right hand (in the same way that we may be schizophrenic in our minds and souls and belong to two masters). And this can split and break us. It can send us staggering down the wrong road and make us miss the gates of the Father’s house.”
I am so struck by this image, and my heart is convicted of the ways I sometimes hesitate to forgive. How truly ludicrous that must appear to God. And how despicable.