Jesus tells each of his disciples to forgive his brothers’ sins against him and others. He tells them “Things that cause people to sin are bound to happen.” After challenging his disciples to forgive and love when they want to accuse and hate, the disciples attempt a subject change from discomfort to comfort. “Increase our faith!” (verse 5) Jesus speaks to them where they went with the subject, but I believe He ties it in with their unwillingness to forgive and love when its hardest. He says, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed…” (verse 6) I believe Jesus was placing the ball back in their court.
Jesus does not let them off easy. He challenges them to realize it is not Jesus who needs to give them more faith to love and forgive. They need to understand that it only takes a little to do so much. Even the smallest amount of faith is plenty to forgive if a person is willing and wants to forgive. There are risks of course! We are called to love in a fallen world. We will forgive and love at the risk and inevitability of seeing more pain. But we MUST love and forgive. We must be willing to give at least a little faith. It goes a long way.
Now remember, these thoughts came through a struggle. (Tying it all together) This came after expressed HONEST struggle with God. I believe God honors our struggle and despises our tepid, lukewarm droning. We are not preschoolers who walk straight lines because we are attached to a rope. God honors the honest struggler. There are too many Christians trying to find life through soothing their soul, but I believe true passion is brought forth in honest struggle. I think our wrestling match with God is pregnant with passion and confidence. The good news is hatred of God and others decreases as Christ takes the heart inch by inch, but it comes only through honest and passionate struggle with God. We may be a new creation, but we are not a perfect creation.
The war over hatred and sin may be won ultimately, but the battle to replace hatred with love will be over only when we see Jesus in flesh. We can and will be angry with God, but have to be honest without reserve. We must understand the Holy Spirit will not allow a bottomless cup of anger to exist, and most often the heart will be engulfed in love when we are honest with God.