Guest blogger Travis Barnes – Fighting Forgiveness
Travis Barnes lives in central Victoria with his wife and two daughters. He is a writer and speaker and loves to help people find their God-given calling and encourage people to walk with Jesus into the unique adventure he has for each person. His website is here.
Today, I like to again welcome guest blogger, Travis Barnes to my site. He recently wrote this article about forgiveness.
Kevin Bartlett is a legend of the Richmond Football Club. He played for the Tigers between 1965-1983 winning 5 premierships in a 403 game career. He dominated the 1980 grand final kicking seven goals and winning the Norm Smith Medal. Following his decorated playing career he was appointed Richmond coach in 1988.
Bartlett’s coaching career fell well short of his playing days. The Tigers never made finals under Bartlett. He was sacked as coach during his fourth season with a career record of 27 wins and 61 losses. Bartlett was a favorite son of the footy club. He’d been part of the club for 27 years but after his sacking, he stayed away from the club for the next 16 years.
He was so angry about his sacking that when Bartlett was named an “immortal” of the club he didn’t attend the function to receive his award. Bartlett was naturally angry at his treatment as coach but why allow one incident to define his entire experience?
Four difficult years as coach shouldn’t overshadow the 18 glorious years he played for the club? Bartlett now admits he was stubborn. In 2007 he returned to the club for the first time in 16 years. Richmond’s favorite son was back.
You would expect children’s band The Wiggles to be a happier place to work. Performing for thousands of adoring children, singing ‘Hot Potato’ and making millions each year. The Wiggles should be one happy family.
Sam Moran had been touring with the Wiggles since 1998. In 2002 he began filling in for yellow Wiggle Greg Page. In 2006 Page retired from the Wiggles due to ill health and Moran became the new yellow Wiggle on a permanent basis.
Moran was the only new Wiggle – Anthony Field, Murray Cook, and Jeff Fatt were original band members who had played with Greg Page when the band started in 1991. Suddenly in 2012 Greg Page had returned to health and was available to tour with the Wiggles once again. Sam Moran was given the chop and booted out as Page got the original band back together.
Blue Wiggle Anthony Field wasn’t keen to discuss the rift. He said Moran was just doing a job and that he hadn’t spoken to him about the decision. Moran had worked with the Wiggles for 14 years but was described by Field as simply a hired hand. None of the band called Moran to wish him well.
Moran wasn’t kept down for long. A year later he began hosting Play Along with Sam on Foxtel’s Nick Jr channel. In 2015 Moran won an Aria award for Best Children’s Album. Who exactly did Moran beat to claim the award? His former bandmates, the Wiggles.
Moran looking visibility uncomfortable receiving the award said he’d often thought what he’d say in such a situation but realised he didn’t need to say those things anymore.
Who could forget the bitter feud between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard that tore apart the ALP government. Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard worked together as leader and deputy leader to win the 2007 election.
Three years later Gillard had replaced Rudd and three years after that Rudd had exacted his revenge briefly returning to the top job. Both retired from federal politics after the government marred by infighting was swept away in 2013. Both blame each other for sabotage, and they’re probably both right.
Whether you sing for the Wiggles, play footy, or win a federal election all of us wrestle with forgiveness. Sometimes we hold onto anger for far too long. Holding onto anger hurts us far more than it hurts anyone else.
It’s been said that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Forgiveness doesn’t occur automatically; Kevin Bartlett stayed away from Richmond for 16 years and Kevin Rudd will probably stay away from Julia Gillard for longer.
Forgiveness requires more than time, it requires an act of the will. Forgiveness is an obedient letting go of offence and placing our hurts into the hands of God who knows what it’s like to suffer unjust treatment. We often fight forgiveness, listing all kinds of reasons why we want to hold onto our offence. The reality is when we fight forgiveness, we’re fighting against the very thing that can set us free.
Forgive the inexcusable
The Christian message is that there is a God who forgives us when we are undeserving. God is merciful and when we forgive others we reflect his merciful nature. Forgiven people forgive. God wants us to extend the mercy we’ve received to others. C.S Lewis put it best when he said, “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
For other articles that have appeared on Christian Today click here.