Did you hear about the man bitten by a mad dog and rushed to the emergency room? The Dr. reported: “The tests show the dog had rabies, and now so do you.” The patient immediately took out a pad of paper and a pen and began writing rapidly. The Dr. thought he was making out his will and said: “Hey this doesn’t mean you’re going to die. There’s a cure for rabies.”
The man keep writing and replied: “I know that; I’m making a list of people I’m going to bite before you cure me!”
This fictitious tale may be humorous, but tragically many people really do live out this bitter spirit. They are infected with an unforgiving heart, bent on vengeance, and don’t realize they can only pass on the disease by refusing the cure.
Forgiveness is the most important matter of life and eternity. God’s cure for sin requires grace, not getting even or getting what I deserve. Scripture frequently makes the point that the acceptance of God’s forgiving grace opens our heart to respond to others in the same way. It also opens the bars on our heart that will imprison us in bitterness. In fact, Jesus warned that the refusal to forgive others may be an indicator of a heart that is hard and closed to either receive or give grace.
What about you: Are you passing on the cure or the disease? Let’s talk about it this Sunday at South Suburban EFC, as we hear from a man who learned to use His dungeon cell as a distribution center for grace.
Grace be with you all! – The Apostle Paul’s final recorded words.