“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?'” Matthew 18:21 NIV
Dundee is a huge marmalade boy that lives at my house. Dundee has many things to be thankful for – like his loving home. Until he was about 4 months old his home was a rescue shelter. Until my daughter and grandsons adopted him, he was living in a wire cage in a veterinarian’s office. Oh, the cage was roomy and he had plenty of food and water and when the office closed for the day he was allowed out to play – but he didn’t have a forever home until my family presented him to me.
He has been one of the joys of my life since he arrived that Friday afternoon. He plays and asks to be petted and makes sure he is around at mealtime – and HE CAN PURR! He purrs so loudly that he sounds like a motor.
Dundee has some major dislikes and prejudices and he never forgives. For instance, Salida is a beautiful and very sweet tempered golden retriever that lives with my daughter’s family. She would be a great playmate if only Dundee would come down off his high horse long enough to make friends. Instead, he hides and slinks around growling and hissing. He misses out on a lot by holding this prejudice.
Another of his prejudices is against my daughter AND her family. When any of them come into the house he hides. Why does he do this? Well, once, when it was necessary for him to go someplace in the car my daughter put him into a carrier. He didn’t want to get into that carrier. In fact he objected strongly, to the point where she had to hold his legs so he would fit through the door. Dundee has NEVER forgotten that indignity. He not only holds a grudge against her but also each and every member of her family. They come in and he hides. He misses out on a lot of petting and attention – something he usually loves – by hanging on to this prejudice.
I know some people who are a lot like Dundee. They hang onto their prejudices with both hands. I think we miss out on a lot of good things because we are blinded by some imagined slight, by someone who looks or sounds different or maybe it is someone who worships in a different way than we do. They never forgive or forget. Isn’t it great that God doesn’t hold grudges? That He loves us all? No matter our colour, or what we’ve done? If we ask in Jesus’ name, God forgives and never stops loving us. He says in his word, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be white as wool”. Isaiah 1:18 So what should we do? Hide from the things that we don’t like and maybe miss out on good times or should we welcome all experiences and learn from them?
Dundee is only a cat. God didn’t create him with the ability to think and reason -what, I wonder, is our excuse?