Is It Unforgiveness If I Still Want to Punch Someone in the Throat?
| Nah, but for real though... |
I keep a pretty low profile and I've done a good job of not making enemies (at least as far as I can tell). However, one thing I realize is that living a Godly life will present situations that require us to forgive. There's no escaping this. As nice as any of us may be, we all have at least one person who has wronged us. I'll elaborate on this more in a minute, but let me tell you about the jerk, I mean, person, who's inspiring this writing.
Before I go in, let me start by saying that this whole thing is stupid. What went down was so immature that I feel stupid even writing about it. In the grand scheme of things, I'm glad that my challenge with forgiveness is something trivial and not something major like forgiving a person who killed my child or a wife who had an affair. Peace and blessings for everyone who has had to deal with these type of challenges. I know that this situation does not compare.
So what had happened was... Years ago, I used to be on a message board. Most of us were in our 20s, some being a little younger and some a little older. This was a GoGo message board (DC's local music genre), but it was mainly for jokes, armchair arguments, and a place to kill time. Looking back on it, almost all of us had issues, but like I said, we were in our early 20s.
I got into a dispute with one of the guys on there. We had a fantasy football league and I used to take my fantasy football very seriously...too seriously. One guy quit halfway through the season. My would-be nemesis noticed that the guy who quit was not setting his lineup. He made a side deal to trade for all of his good players, which was essentially cheating because it gave him an unstoppable team. (Listen... I warned you this was stupid.)
Well, I called the guy out on it and we got into a public dispute on the message board. We went back and forth joaning (roasting/playing the dozens) on each other. He ended up going to my Facebook profile and posting my high school prom picture, which dropped the atomic bomb on me. Everyone laughed me to scorn and had a field day joining in on the roast. This affected me a lot because I've always been concerned about looking and sounding young for my age and I looked young in my prom picture. It was also a play on my style of dress. I tried to save face, but I realized that I could never show my face around those parts again. I had gotten ethered lol.
I eventually just convinced myself that the site was stupid and got off of it. However, I was extremely angry at the guy who made the joke about me... no, for real, like... really angry. I would tell you some of the ideas that I had about avenging this guy, but I don't want to get indicted, so just use your imagination. I used to listen to a lot of rap music and I had a very murderous spirit and very little regard for human life. I believe that if I did not have so much going for me, then I would probably be one of these D.C. dudes who caught a body because I didn't take kindly to disrespect or being played. Thank God I had so much to lose because it kept me grounded. I had my parents and friends, a nice job, and even though I did not know Jesus, I realized that the LORD had me.
Eventually, I went on with life. Years passed and I was not thinking about that situation or that guy at all. At this point, I'm well into my 30's and now serving the LORD. I had actually seen the guy in passing one or two times and not thought much about it. However, last year, someone made a reunion group on Facebook and people kept adding me to it. I ignored it at first, but after multiple invites, I decide to poke around and be nosy.
There was a post for people to upload their recent pictures, so everyone could see how folks looked today. Lo and behold, my nemesis uploaded my prom picture with a funny caption on it and everyone had a field day. I could not believe that this guy was still making jokes about me after all these years! Essentially, I had became a meme in this small community. How long had a been a meme to them after I left? How widespread is this meme? Are people walking the streets laughing at me behind my back? I won't say that I am a victim of online bullying because I had my fair share of that pie as well. In DC, joaning is just a part of survival, so you either sink or swim. It did make me have an idea of what online bullying feels like though.
When I saw my picture up there, all of those emotions from the first incident began to rise up in me. I wanted so badly to respond, but I knew that I had an obligation to the LORD to act Godly. So, I did respond in a joking way, even though I knew the spirit behind what I said was out of order. Really, I was just looking for a loophole to murk this dude. Like for real, why are you still talking about me and we are almost 35 years old. Like... does this dude want to get killed or something? Does this man have a death wish? (I should not be typing these thoughts publicly). Please pray my strength in the LORD! smh lol.
Eventually, I realized that God used this incident to reveal my heart to me. That guy was the last thing on my mind. However, when I saw that he was still clowning me and all those feelings resurfaced, it made me realize that I had issues with forgiveness.
It also made me ask the question, Do I really love grace? I love grace when it is applied to me, but do I love it when I have to give it to an enemy? Am I concerned about this guy's soul? Do I want to see him go to heaven or do I want to see his soul burn in hell for eternity? The scripture is clear that we have to forgive others if we want to be forgiven (Matt 18:21-22). Am I forgiving him because it's a requirement or because I genuinely have the love of Christ in me? This whole situation made me really do some self examination. It actually inspired this S.O.L.I.D. Talk:
This guy works not too far from me and we actually have the same commute. I see him from time to time, maybe once or twice a month. Granted, he talks all of that stuff on the Internet, but never says a word to me in person. After the Facebook incident, I had all of these imaginations about confronting him. A part of me was looking forward to the confrontation, but at the same time, I am in my mid 30's with a wonderful career, and trying to be Christlike, so it wasn't like we were going to fight. I knew that the most I'd do was probably say something snarky or hurtful and that it would be in the wrong spirit. This whole situation actually made me Google "Is it legal for two consenting adults to fight to the death?" If anyone's wondering, it's not. Please continue to pray for me, smh lol.
Fortunately, quite a bit of time passed before I saw him again. By that time, my emotions had subsided. When I finally did see him, I actually did not have any strong emotion one way or another. We just ignored each other as we always do in person. Since then, I've seen him a few more times. For the most part, I'm Gucci. However, sometimes I do feel that little slight urge to punch him in the throat. I see the way this guy's life is trajecting and he bears no fruit of knowing the LORD. He walks around in all of these metrosexual outfits and actually has his hair dyed blond like Odell Beckham, Jr. The guy looks more suspect each time that I see him and I know that sin is eating him up deep down inside. I talk to the LORD about it. However, I always question how much of that is genuine or just a way to make me feel like I have a leg up on him.
Ultimately, I want to get to the place where I sincerely love this guy with the love of Christ. Truthfully, I will have to if I want to make it to the Kingdom. I want to be able to look at him and not have any judgment or thoughts about revenge. I want to be able to see him and not be concerned about making more money than him, dressing better than him, walking faster than him, or any of these dumb things that come to mind. I want to be so above this situation that I wouldn't even be concerned about him reading this article. Of course, it makes it harder when your transgressor is still being a jerk, but that should not control us. We need to be able to love purely because that is the mark of a true follower of Christ. LORD, please help me to love deeper!