By TIMOTHY L. MELTON, PASTOR
(Transcribed by Myra D. Colgate)
Cherokee Pentecostal Holiness Church
Read Matthew 18:15-35; 1 Peter 2:23; Galatians 6:1-3; Eccles. 7:20-21; Proverbs 19:11
Continued from last week…
Rev. Tim Dove, Pastor, of The Dove Christian Center Church, Bryson City, has been a best friend of mine for many, many years. We were more like brothers.
I was very tired after working for hours while also taking a full load of classes and was so looking forward to being able to sleep in all the next day. I went in and took a hot shower, lay down in bed. I had explained this to Tim and asked him to please leave me alone while I tried to get some much-needed sleep.
Then came a knock on the door. Knock! Knock! Knock! Knock! Knock! “It’s Tim Dove!” I startled myself awake and I looked around. “I made breakfast. Get up and eat it.”
I got up and told him, “I told you, I’m going to sleep in today, now get out of here and leave me alone.” He slammed the door, and I heard his feet going down the steps.
Finally, getting settled down and starting to sink into my bed again. I felt the room spinning as I began to drop off to sleep. Awakened this time by feet running up the stairs, I heard, Bam! Bam! Bam! “I made breakfast,” hollered Tim.
“Get out!”, I said, “Leave me alone!” I heard him leave, and I laid there for a long time fuming.
For the third time that day, I heard something as I was again almost asleep. Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! He opened that door, so I picked up a shoe and I threw it just above his head as hard as I could. The door hit the wall and he knew he’d been had. I said, “Come back in this room one more time…”.
He shut that door and I heard the front door open and then close. I said, “Finally!” Sure enough, I went to sleep. I slept all day long until about 7:30 that evening. I got up to go work the third shift. I went downstairs and I realized that boy had made three different full breakfasts. He’d made biscuits and gravy, and eggs three different times, and I didn’t even know. It was never eaten as the eggs and gravy had congealed by then. How did he make all these breakfasts? The table was covered with food that had been there all day long. I thought, he made us breakfast three times and I was yelling at him and hollering and throwing shoes at him. To hear him tell the story now, he’s got a whole different perspective. Next time he’s here, I’ll ask him to give it. But Tim taught me something…
I consequently learned something about him and myself—and that was this, he never took offense. Now, he did wake me up three times, but we’re still best friends today. At first, I had held it against him, even for a little while, then I got over it, and today we can truly laugh about it.
Here’s what I want all of us to understand today. We all can have every right to be offended sometimes, but we can’t stay offended. We have a choice within us to determine how we deal with the offense that the Bible says will come.
We can stay offended, or we can instead declare, “I would rather see the Glory of the Lord in my life.”
How does one know this? It’s because we just read it out of Matthew 18. He says when a person deals with offense right, we will be able to bind things or loose things, again, when the brethren come together. God then shows up in the midst of them. Whatever we can then touch and agree on to ask Him, He does it. Amen, because we dealt with the offense in the right way.
Sensible people learn to control their tempers, and they can even earn others’ respect by overlooking wrongs which may have been done to them. (Proverbs 19:11). Also, a person can choose not to take to heart all words that may have been spoken in the heat of a moment. We can choose not to take them into our hearts. Choosing to love one another, anyway, can save one’s marriage…or even one’s job. It may not be easy, but it can bring people a better life as we each practice this.
(There is more…)