Today marked the final day of my first week of the semester. So far, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Osborne’s New Testament Introduction class. We began by reviewing the Intertestamental Period, and today’s discussion was about Alexander the Great from Macedonia.
The Greeks did not think the Macedonians posed any threat to them (they were considered as barbarians to the Greeks). However, Phillip II was able, through military and political maneuvers was able to overtake the Greeks. But there was a problem. His son, Alexander the Great, knew that he needed the help of the Greeks in order to take down the Persian Empire. He needed to rally together the independent city states and unite them as one under his leadership
How did this happen? Well, the rallying cry that Alexander used was history itself. The Greeks did not forget what the Persians did to them during the 4th century.
The Persian Empire, in an attempt to conquer the Greeks, burned and destroyed many of their buildings and sacred places, and they disrupted life in Greece for a good amount of time. Alexander used this hatred and thirst for revenge and called the Greeks to exact their vengeance upon the Persians. Eventually, they helped him to conquer the Western whole of the Persian Empire.
Dr. Osborne said, “Human memories for perceived wrongs tend to be very long.” And it is true. Many of us forget what we had for breakfast in the morning, but when someone wrongs us (even if it is merely a perceived wrong), that “wrong” is etched into our minds. And sadly, it results in the poor treatment of individuals and the avoiding of reconciliation.
Unfortunately, the mind is not like a hard drive on a computer. We cannot erase our thoughts or even history for that matter. But we can learn to forgive as God forgives. God never forgets (given His omniscience), but He does forgive. He does not hold wrongs against those who have sought for forgiveness through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. The reconciliation of Christ allows us to not be held responsible anymore for our shortcomings before a Holy God. And that is the ultimate example of forgiveness.
It’s hard to forgive when we’ve been wronged. And we even get wronged by other Bible-believing Christians. Thankfully, God’s memory and actions do not work like humans do. If we confess, He is faithful and just to forgive. We need to learn how to deal with this faulty attitudes in the community of the saints, so that others would observe our affiliation with Christ because of our love for one another.