“Only Nixon could go to China.”
In the movie, “Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country” Spock quoted this old Vulcan (Ha Ha) proverb to Captain Kirk just before they were to host a diplomatic dinner with The Klingon Chancellor and his advisors aboard the Starship Enterprise. Problem is the last thing Kirk wants to do is to discuss peace with a Klingon because a Klingon murdered his son and he is still nursing deep wounds over that incident. Kirk has an extensive history with the Klingons including battle situations, and he tends to view them as “animals” because of past history and what happened with his son.
Peace is not something that Kirk sees as desirable or even possible. He has been wronged and he is unwilling to forgive or let go of his personal pain. How many of us have been there? Most likely not due to the loss of a son, but wronged and unwilling to forgive is a place that most of us visit at least once in our lives. I know I have spent a season or two there and I definitely do not recommend it. Being unwilling to forgive damages our “heart” and leads to bitterness. And bitterness is a stone cold killer that destroys everything in its path, including relationships. There can be no peace where bitterness is allowed to live. So, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32)
Forgiveness is the key that unlocks our hearts and allows us to truly live free in Jesus. Refusing to forgive brings severe bitterness, rage, anger and eventually malice. Malice is defined as “a desire to harm others or to see others suffer.” An “Eye for an eye” may sound reasonable for severe offenses, but it is not the way of Jesus or the cross. In the long run such attitudes and behavior only cause us to suffer. Other people will wrong us in this life, and it is how we respond to such wrongs that helps define our lives. Because we are to, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see The Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” (Hebrews 12:14-15)
We need to remember who forgiveness is for. We forgive because Jesus desires us to and because it sets US free. The person we forgive will still have to stand before God due to their offense. Forgiveness lets us off the hook, not them. I know that my personal progressive freedom from PTSD and horrific flashbacks of childhood rapes and other physical, verbal and emotional abuse at the hands of my natural father coincided with the level of forgiveness I had in my heart towards my Dad. Tough choices for sure, but well worth the time and effort. I can certainly testify that Christ can heal ANY wound or situation we surrender unto Him.
Captain James T. Kirk eventually forgave the Klingons. Who do we need to forgive TODAY?