Faith Column: Forgiveness has never been an easy job

Something I'm sure most mortals struggle with is being able to forgive others.

I was driving down a side street in Kingman the other day - the traffic was thick - the cars were zooming by one after another, and I was late for an appointment.

So I waited and waited at the stop sign until I finally saw a little bit of daylight and pulled out on the street. Just then some guy in a little black car came from nowhere, zoomed up behind me, and followed me so closely I could see the fillings in his teeth.

Finally, I slowed down, turned into the driveway, turned sideways and looked out of the window and glared at the guy driving the car as he sped by me - he had made me angry and I was going to "punish" him with my stern, condescending look - forgiveness was not on my mind at the time. You know the drill - or do you?

Before you make a harsh judgment about the character flaws of Pastor Michael, when is the last time you were angry at someone because they had "wronged" you? Did you readily forgive that person and leave it behind you?

And if not, how long did you carry that anger with you? Given the chance, how readily would you have forgiven that person? Would you have confronted them?

Does forgiveness come easy for you? Or are you extremely guarded about how, when, and why you forgive people? Any way you slice it, forgiveness is a tough job.

Finally, read the parable of the unmerciful servant in the Gospel of Matthew 18:21-35. Then ask yourself how you've been doing with forgiving others. You, like me - especially when I'm driving - may want to reconsider a few things.

I'll see you in church, the grocery store, on Badger Trail or working out at the gym - maybe even in your rearview mirror.

You can e-mail Pastor Michael by visiting www.stjohnsumc.com.