“I can’t just forget like that – not after how you treated me” … “I keep remembering that look of anger in your eyes” … “You don’t know how much pain you caused me – it’s like I keep living it day after day – you do that to me every day” … “Why should I forgive you after what you have done? You expect me to forget all that you have done? Do you … you do don’t you … just like that … me forget what you did … you think it’s that easy?”
Why do we seem to always store the hurtful memories. Why?
Why do we fill a warehouse of slights, insults, offences, hurts, pain. Why do we like to catalogue it, stocktake it, rearrange it, protect it. Why do we do that? And when we walk the aisles of our “I have been done to” warehouse – why do we always see “poor me” … “I had/have no choice” … “it’s always me that gets hurt” … “YOU owe ME”?
You know anybody like that? I do that so easily.
”Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”” Matthew 6:19-23
Always that word “treasure” has meant cars, bank accounts, jobs, houses, holidays, shopping at the luxury shops, frivolous living, consumer goods, stuff, and things. And on a good day I ventured into “skills and prestige and status and pomp and glory”.
But always that word “treasure” was a conveyor belt of all my “wants” … all my “give me’s” … naughty Paul for envying, naughty Paul for having some of the conveyor belt of goodies in your own home (you own a home???), bad Paul for liking nice things, sinful Paul for not giving away all your money and consumer goods to someone else …
(which when I think about it makes no sense – if it is a sin for me to have “stuff” – isn’t giving someone else my “stuff” also giving them the same “sin” as well?)
Distraction Lord, all these years of reading your word! Distraction tactics!
Why have I been focused on “consumer goods” all these years? Why do I hear “consumer goods” taught all these years?
Why do we mourn desiring a conveyor belt of “consumer goods” (most of us will never be able to buy) – whilst at the same time hoarding a bulging warehouse of treasure? Filling it so full we cannot even close the doors properly? Filling so much of ourselves with this inventory of hurt and offence and insult and slight, that we have our “treasure” – without ever buying one fridge or car or holiday!
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
This morning I find no conveyor belt. No luxury items. This morning I see my three warehouses: I had no choice. What about me. I am the victim here.
My warehouses stink. My warehouses are dark. My warehouses are not healthy. My warehouses are not treasure at all. They bring me down. Hold me back. Push you away. Keep the light out. Keep the dark in.
This morning I want to see that conveyor belt! I want to see those items pass in front of me! I am going to put that conveyor belt in each and every warehouse! I am going to enjoy seeing those hurts and insults and slights and offences pass in front and disappear forever! I am going to empty my warehouses. I am having a fire sale! Last year’s stock! Liquidated!! Finito!!
This year’s fashion, this year’s warehouses? We always have choices! What about you, me and us? There are no victims here!
(is that what He means when He says “forgive”?)
“So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness.”
And not a “consumer good” in sight!