Scripture ~ Matthew 18:3-4 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Observation ~ My observation is actually extra-biblical. I just finished the book, Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy. While there was a review of the events of the October 2, 2006 massacre, and a brief history of the Amish religion, these things are used as a foundation on which to explore their immediate forgiveness of the shooter. At one point in the book a gentleman talks about being as a child to enter the kingdom of heaven, and while not in so many words, what he was eluding to is that one has to humble oneself in order to do what we're commanded to do - forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors.
Think about the humility of children. They have no control or privacy what so ever. They are picked up, carried around, have their backsides laid out and cleaned up, spoon fed, their bed time is controlled, their play is controlled, everything is decided for them.
Well, it has been decided for us. We must ask for forgiveness when we sin against one another, and we must, in return, forgive. In order to do this, we must become as children, humbling ourselves. This is not an easy task for an adult. To swallow down the pride, to swallow down the ego, to go to the offended party, and communicate a request that verbalizes that we have done wrong and not only that we have done wrong, but that now we need something from them - forgiveness.
Become as little children indeed.
Application ~ One of the things that was repeated in Amish Grace was that forgiveness is part of their culture. It's taught, it's lived out, it's importance seems to hang on the air they breathe. But this is not something that is part of our culture, usually it's the opposite. How can we get good at things that are hard? Practice!
Prayer ~ Father, you have searched me and know me. You know how big my ego is, and the percentage of my make up that pride fills. If I have to 'become' as something it's because I'm not already that 'something'. Help me to become as a child, growing in humility needed to more easily enter into the kingdom.
Humility, Amish Grace, forgiveness, back to humility. I know this may come out as rather disconnected, but it my brain, it all fits! ;)
Here's more on Matthew 18 if you're interested!