I'm going to ask you a very simple question that is going to get you into a lot of turmoil.
If you never have to do something, how do you learn to do it?
Let's say that I am going to operate on you. Let's say further that you need a heart transplant. Now, the good news is that I've read a lot about doing heart transplants. I know the Anatomy book backwards and forward. I've looked at all the diagrams and all of the graphs and charts. So I'm pretty sure I can do this.
How confident are you in my ability to perform this task correctly on you?
(I see those nerves springing to the surface.)
But I don't see why you would be nervous. After all, I have read all about the history of the heart transplant, and I've even read up on the most recent advancements.
Why are you nervous?
I'll tell you why... because I've never actually done a heart transplant, right?
In fact, truth be known, I'm really squeamish at the sight of blood and would probably pass out the second the incision was being made! And in all honesty, I would not in good conscience even think I could do such a thing. It takes years of practice to be able to even consider doing such a thing.
But the truth is we do this type of thing all the time in the spiritual realm. In fact, we get indignant when a practice-session comes our way.
After all, we've read in the Bible that we're supposed to forgive. 7 X 70 times. But what happens when our neighbor borrows our wrench and forgets to return it? Or when such-and-such said something about us, and we heard it?
See, much like that heart surgeon who doesn't just read about heart transplants and thinks he or she just knows how to do them, we have to be presented with opportunities to test if we can forgive. We need that knowledge to move from our heads to our hearts and through our hearts into our experience and our world. Until we do that, we are as helpful as a surgeon who has read all the books.
And how do surgeon's practice? Most of the time, they assist under a more skilled doctor for many years. That's why they do internships and residencies before becoming doctors because they need to have the book knowledge move through them into their actual experiences!
So when Jack shows up, and he broke your mower blade... again. Or Suzy made that comment, or Jill is mad, or Stan said...
Remember, this is how you learn to forgive and to love.
Staci Stallings, the author of this article, is a Contemporary Christian author and the founder of Grace & Faith Author Connection. You can check out one of Staci's Best-Selling Christian Romances...
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