“We bury the hatchet, but leave the handle stickin’ out” – Garth Brooks

As we wind down yet another year, it seems like a good time to tie up all the loose ends. I guess this would be a good time for this post as we are going over our lists and reviewing what we need to do in 2007.

One of the more convicting parts of the book “What’s So Amazing About Grace” was our need for payback. When someone hurts us, lets us down, or fails to live up to what we had hoped, Philip Yancey questioned if we are as quick, not only to forgive, but to show the grace which God distributes. Ouch. Then he pointed to Romans 12:19 –

“Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

Personally, when it comes to forgiveness, I often find myself living on (what my friend Denny calls) “The other side of the but”. In other words, “I will forgive them BUT I will certainly remember what the did to me!” Why do I do that? Why do I “leave the handle sticking out”? Shouldn’t I offer the same forgetfulness that is offered to me each time I fall on my face?

It might mean making THAT phone call, returning THAT email, meeting THAT person. It could be at work, at home or at church. It means friends, family and enemies. It means:

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34)

As I turn the page on 2006, I must admit it’s time to be accountable. That includes burying the entire hatchet. Handle included.