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One of the main threads of Through Gates of Fire, my first novel series is: you cannot fix most (if not any) emotional disturbances on your own.
- Incidents happen: when you are involved with human beings, there are skirmishes and touch-ups and take-downs and put-downs that take place. Some of these are fully intentional. Some of these are by mistake. Some of these are just coincidental. Some of them are accidental. But, human beings scrape. Human relationships have friction points
- Friction points: friction points are those moments when tempers flare…when unkind words are hurled and tossed around like stuffed animals on a bed…when emotions rule…and when logic and reason fail
- Hurt and imbalance and even separations take place: the net result is that feelings are hurt…psyches are wounded…relationships are severed…people are separated
- Apologies seldom prove to be effective
- The one who is ‘harmed’ generally does not trust the sincerity of the apology
- The one who apologizes many times feels obligated to recant and does not feel true remorse
- The net result? Disturbance and imbalance
- Divine Arithmetic = Extend Mercies to Others
- Divine Arithmetic = leave the harmed one to God
- Divine Arithmetic = trust that God will send healing to the one you have harmed
The Logic Press of Forgiveness:
The point of “Divine Arithmetic” is that you cannot solve the problem of harm that you, yourself created. You simply cannot wash away your own sins. You can try. But, my experience is that you will, by the very act of contrition avert your own remedy.
You Avert Your Own Remedy:
This is the entire crux of Christianity. This is the basis of redemption. This is the congealing secret sauce of God’s ways: you are not capable of fixing, let alone resolving your own mishaps.
The Logic Press is Illogical:
The logic press is illogical. The repair, the fix, the remedy is that your efforts to ‘make better’ only confound and in-fact exacerbate the situation.
So what you do is:
- Make apology
- Acknowledge your error
- Realize that you have done harm
- Admit and own that these faults and blemishes belong solely to you
- Realize that your reparative efforts now have to swing and focus upon saving others from harm that YOU DID NOT COMMIT
HARM THAT YOU DID NOT COMMIT:
When you turn your attention towards serving others, and redeeming settings for which you have no fault, then you begin to comprehend, “Divine Arithmetic.”
When you realize that God must heal the ones that you harmed. And that a part of his ‘solve’ is that you work hard to improve the lives of those who are harmed, not by your doing, but are in-fact lives improved directly because of your input and impact.
That is Divine Arithmetic. And what you may find now and then is that those that you harmed will come back one day and thank you for your impact on their lives and the lives of others.
That is “Divine Arithmetic.”
TGOF Volume One is a series of, a collection of stories of men and women who harm others, realize their fault, attempt (futility) to make amends, and then are plunged deep into the land of service by God.
Pastor Steve Bonenberger, Shepherd to Creatives Everywhere.
Author, novelist, essayist, speaker, itinerant biblical academic and one of the ‘Fallen Chosen’.