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Forgiving Those Who Do Not Acknowledge You
by Tai Ikomi
12/09/2016 / Christian Living
How to forgive and let go is the focus of this article. Learning to forgive others is an art based on knowledge. This is a series in the Jesus Has Been There Series. The series is designed to encourage you and learn how Jesus handled what you are handling now. Jesus and His forgiveness has left footprints for us to follow in the path of forgiveness. We want to look at what to do when we are not acknowledged.
THE PAIN OF NOT BEING ACKNOWLEDGED
When we are not acknowledged, especially by people who should know better, it can be painful. Sometimes, we are not given our due respect. Perhaps you are a minister of the Gospel, but someone does not want to see you in that light. You have been ordained but because you are not rich enough or you are not educated enough or you are of a different race or you graduated from a seminary that is not recognized, you are not acknowledged.
You attend a church service, and they may have condescended out of civility to occupy the building. They call you by your first name without appending the ministerial title. And here you are, ready to minister to their spiritual needs. You have interceded for them in your closet. You have sought the face of the Lord about the message to bring to them. Unfortunately, your ministry is not publicly acknowledged. Your thoughts are dampened and mixed with the bitterness and pain of not being acknowledged.
Should you continue to allow those painful and bitter thoughts to fester in your heart? Of course not. Even here, you have been called to forgive them. You are not alone. You are not the first person to be ignored and treated shabbily.
JESUS TOO HAS BEEN THERE
Yes, you are not alone! Jesus has been there. One day, a Pharisee by the name of Simon invited Jesus to diner with him. When Jesus the Son of God, the King of angels, the Gift of God to the world arrived, He was given no special treatment. Common civility should have commanded the slaves to wash the feet of the guest. In a climate that was humid and dirty, in an atmosphere where socks were not worn, the host should arrange for this common courtesy. Jesus was denied even this.
Perhaps Simon did not think Jesus deserved this. No one knows why he really invited Jesus. If he had invited Caiaphas, the high priest, he would have given him this honor and much more. He did not do this for Jesus. This should have annoyed any minister of the Gospel. This should have offended any minister, making him reluctant to forgive. Jesus, however, did not succumb to this mindset. He forgave.
JESUS ACKNOWLEDGED BY A SINFUL WOMAN
As the supper continued, a woman with a reputation as a sinner came in and began to cry profusely at the feet of Jesus. Her tears washed the tired and dirty feet of the one she must have perceived as a prophet of God. She used her hair to wipe away the tears and to make the Master's feet clean. She did not stop there she went beyond the call of duty and poured perfume on His feet. No doubt people would have smelled it.
THE PHARISEES' ANGER AT JESUS' BEING ACKNOWLEDGED
Simon took offense at this. Perhaps he was convicted at his own derelict of duty. This woman had done what he should have ordered to be done. Then, to silence his conscience, he now blamed Jesus for allowing such a sinner to pay homage to Him.
Jesus read his thoughts and gently rebuked him. That was a sign that Jesus did not hold anything against Simon. Jesus could have ignored him, and he might have been happy Simon was placed at an embarrassing situation. His guest, whom he ignored, was being acknowledged and celebrated. Jesus called Simon by name and even took permission to tell him something.
Luke 7:40 records,
And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
Jesus brought Simon's attention to his own derelict of duty. He pointed out to him that he did not wash His feet, he did not kiss him on the cheek, and he did not anoint his head with oil, but this woman had done all that Simon failed to do.
And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment (Luke 7:44-46).
YET JESUS STLL FORGAVE
Yes, Jesus was not acknowledged, but He still forgave Simon. Yes, you too are not acknowledged; you are not appreciated. You have two choices before you. You may choose to be bitter and angry. Or you may choose to follow the footsteps of Jesus. Choose the latter.
KNOW THAT JESUS HAS BEEN THERE.
Jesus has been there. If Jesus could forgive such glaring neglect, so can you. Take comfort in knowing that Jesus has been there. This is not a matter of pretending that it did not offend you. Jesus did not pretend. He actually forgave Simon. His grace is there to help you forgive as well. His forgiveness will help you to overlook their indiscretion. Take into account the idea that they do not know what they do.
Lord, I thank you for your example that you have left for us. Lord, you have been there. You know how it feels. Lord, help me to follow in your example. Where I am not celebrated, or recognized or acknowledged, I pray that I will go ahead and forgive. I will not allow bitterness to fill my heart against people. Lord, I look up to you for strength and for motivation to follow in your footsteps. Thank you, Lord.
Dr. Tai Ikomi is an author of over 30 books .and a conference speaker. She gives seminars on the Names of God and forgiveness after forgiving the drunk man who killed her entire family. She is the founder of Forgiveness Discipleship.
Dr. Tai Ikomi
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