Yesterday's sermon was presented by a guest pastor on 1 Sam 24. He introduced his sermon with the sentence "This is a passage about dealing with difficult people."
Difficult people? Yeah, right. I Sam 24 is one of the numerous occasions Saul is trying to kill David and David spares his life.
Saul was a homicidal maniac. That seems a bit more than "difficult" to me.
However, the pastor's points were valid, possibly even for dealing with homicidal maniacs.
His point, and I would agree it is one of the points of the passage, is forgiveness trumps revenge. I might argue other historical accounts show it better. Joseph's treatment of his brothers, for example.
The desire for revenge is so strong God limited it in his legal code for the Israelites. "An eye for an eye" wasn't a command to take someone's eye. It was a limitation of you can only do as much as was done to you. Even that isn't God's desire for us.
According to Jesus "You have heard it said 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy,' but I say love your enemy and do good to those that hate you."
Jesus knows forgiveness is the only way to regain power over your own life. To hate another person damages you far more than it damages him.
One of my favorite statements from yesterday's sermon was "Hatred is like acid. It destroys its container before it destroys its object."
Forgiveness doesn't come easy to Turtles. Doesn't matter. It is imperative to master it. My own life, my own health, my own eternity depends on it.
"Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors..."
It is in my best interest to forgive others. Even homicidal maniacs.