Forgiveness is key, Caner says
by Emily Grooms
CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMCNews) – "I want to tell you the story of a crazy man." That's what Dr. Ergun Caner shared during Truett-McConnell College's April 18 chapel service.
Caner, provost of Arlington Baptist College in Arlington, Texas, directed students to 2 Samuel 3.23-30 and the account of Abner and Joab, two generals in King David's regime, to warn against psychotic behavior in the church.
"Everyone has got to deal with crazy people," Caner said, "but if you're going to, you should have a plan."
While the two generals waged war over David's kingdom, Caner explained Abner's defeat which led to his pursuit of peace: "Abner knew he was on the way down so he goes to David to negotiate a truce."
King David honored Abner's request to go free even though he murdered Asahel, his own relative and also Joab's brother, related Caner, brother of Truett-McConnell College president, Dr. Emir Caner.
Caner directed students to verses 26 and 28 for a glimpse of Joab's heart: "Then Joab left David and sent messengers after Abner. When Abner returned to Hebron, Joab pulled him aside to the middle of the gateway, as if to speak to him privately, and there Joab stabbed him in the stomach."
"Joab tricked Abner," Caner said. "He put his arm around him at the gate and whispered into his ear and then killed him."
Using four simple steps, Caner shared how to spot such a psycho: "They can be spotted because they forgive nothing," he said.
Marinating in hate, psychos allow bitterness to grow inside them: "They can't get past it, nor do they want to," Caner said.
Caner noted that those who harbor hate will "be your friend until you hurt them; they obsess and forgive nothing."
"If you lack forgiveness, you're on your way to being a psycho," he said. If all you do is marinate in the past, you will begin to question God's goodness, and in turn, begin to question God."
A psycho will not only forgive nothing, but he will sacrifice everything just to get what he wants, Caner noted. "All they want is to have what everyone else has; they drop everything to get it, and miss out on life. You can't move into future until you resolve your past," he said. "If you obsess about it, you're on your way to becoming a psycho."
"Psychos obsess about one thing," said Caner, adding that it wasn't enough for Joab to win the war, "he wanted blood."
Caner noted that a psycho will trust nothing. Joab went to David and said, "Don't you know you're wrong? Abner is trying to deceive you!"
"He was so crazy that he didn't even trust the king," said Caner, who likened Joab's doubt in David to some believers' doubt in God: "How about you, will you not even trust God?" Caner asked the students.
Despite whatever hurts they had endured, Caner encouraged students to forgive and forget their past, and look to Jesus as their model.
"Bitterness is their sin in your gut. Until you let go, you can't trust God."
"If you lack forgiveness, just remember that you serve a God who forgave you; and if he can forgive so can you."
"Let it go," Caner said. "Quit stalking, don't obsess, and move on because God has a future for you."
Emily Grooms is a Truett-McConnell senior English major and a freelance writer for the college.