Thursday, July 8, 2010

Avenged Sevenfold (2007) "Almost Easy"

[reprinted as written by Avenged Sevenfold]
As performed by A7X

I feel insane every single time
I'm asked to compromise
Cause I'm afraid, I'm stuck in my ways
And that's the way you stay-ay-ay
So how long did I expect love to out weigh ignorance
Now that look on your face may force the scale to tip

I'm not insane, I'm not insane
I'm not insane, I'm not - not insane

(I'm not)
Come back to me, it's almost easy
(Set it off)
Come back again, it's almost easy

Shame pulses through my heart
From the things I've done to you
It's hard to face, but the fact remains
This is nothing new

I let you down inside with suicidal memories
Selfish beneath the skin
But deep inside I'm not insane.

I'm not insane, I'm not insane.
I'm not insane, I'm not - not insane.

(I'm not)
Come back to me, it's almost easy
(Set it Off)
Come back to me, it's almost easy
(You learned your lesson)
Come back again, it's almost easy
(It's still your fault)
Come back again, it's almost easy

Now that I've lost you it kills me to say
(Hurts to say)
I try to hold on as you slowly slip away.
I'm losing the fight.
Treated you so wrong, now let me make it right.
(Make it all right)

I'm not insane, I'm not insane. (chuckling)
I'm not insane, I'm not - not insane.

(I'm not)
Come back to me, it's almost easy
(Set it Off)
Come back again, it's almost easy
(You learned your lesson)
Come back to me, it's almost easy
(It's still your fault)
Come back again, it's almost easy

"Written by The Rev., Synyster Gates at first refused to play song, calling it “cheesy.” But The Rev insist[ed] it was to have a “shredding, aggressive vibe… an old school vibe.”

"M. Shadows explains: “Lyrically, it’s about… people messing up a lot in their lives – they f**k up all the time, and sometimes, it’s easy to forgive those people – sometimes, it’s not. It’s always easy to say ‘you’re forgiven’, but deep in your heart, you don’t really want to forgive that person, because almost easy is the catchphrase. It’s almost easy to say, ‘okay, you’re forgiven’, or it’s almost easy to let go, or it’s almost easy just to give up.”

One time when Jesus was talking about forgiveness he told a parable about unforgiveness,

Peter got up the nerve to ask Jesus, "Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?"

Jesus replied, "Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.

"The kingdom of God is like a king who decided to square accounts with his servants. As he got under way, one servant was brought before him who had run up a debt of a hundred thousand dollars. He couldn't pay up, so the king ordered the man, along with his wife, children, and goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market.

"The poor wretch threw himself at the king's feet and begged, 'Give me a chance and I'll pay it all back.' Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt.

"The servant was no sooner out of the room when he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him ten dollars. He seized him by the throat and demanded, 'Pay up. Now!'

"The poor wretch threw himself down and begged, 'Give me a chance and I'll pay it all back.' But he wouldn't do it. He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid. When the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king.

"The king summoned the man and said, 'You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn't you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?' The king was furious and put the screws to the man until he paid back his entire debt. And that's exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn't forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy."

Peter knew that the religious leaders of his day said that you only had to forgive somebody three times. Biblical proof was taken from the first chapters of the prophet Amos' book where God condemns various nations based on three transgressions and four. The idea was that it would be unseemly to be more gracious than God, so forgiveness was limited to three times. Peter must have thought he was being pretty generous with his question, a real risk of faith to go beyond the religious leaders (the Pharisees), or seemingly beyond God Himself.

The Pharisees had developed a culture of self-righteousness and contempt for other people which made unforgiveness and unmercifulness easy. Jesus’ answer included a parable to show God’s actual graciousness. There is nothing any person can forgive against another person that would even begin to match the staggering debt of sin God forgives.

Where there is love there can be no limits. Love isn't selfish or quick tempered. It doesn't keep a record of wrongs that others do. By the time you have forgiven someone that many times you are going to develop the habit of forgiving, you will have a forgiving spirit.

A parable is not an allegory, so don’t read too deeply into each element. This story is not about salvation. This is about forgiveness between people and how that affects our relationship with God Himself.

The main character goes through three stages in his experience of forgiveness. He begins as a debtor. As Jesus told it, this man had been embezzling funds from the king, the books were audited and his crime was discovered. The sum is colossal, over ten million dollars. In his pride and lack of sincere repentance, the man is not ashamed of what he’s done, he’s just bummed that he got caught. Terrified at the penalty, he desperately begs for a little time to get the money back to the king.

He did not deserve forgiveness. But out of pure compassion and mercy, the king forgave him the entire amount. Wow! (Consider: somebody had to absorb that enormous amount of loss. The king willingly and readily absorbed the entire loss himself).

Next, the main character is seen as a creditor. It’s exactly the same story, but this time the debt is only about five dollars. The servant decided to stand on his rights. Grabbing his fellow servant by the throat and having him thrown in prison was his right by law. He was hard-hearted and revengeful.

Finally the main character became a prisoner. Basically the king said “So you want to live by justice? Then you shall live by justice.” The Bible says that “Judgment without mercy will be shown to the person who has shown no mercy.” God is a compassionate Father and He is also a just Judge. The person who refuses to forgive shows that he or she is incapable of receiving forgiveness. The unwillingness of the forgiven servant to forgive proved that his heart had never been changed, he had just been glad to get off the hook, and he had no real sense of thankfulness for what the king had done for him.

The nature of a parable is to convey a single point wrapped around a story. The details of the story are only to support the point. This story, within the context of Jesus’ teaching the disciples about forgiveness and humility, is not about salvation itself. Salvation is not earned; it is a gift. It can’t be lost by not continuing to earn it.

So the point of this story is that we who are God's children should not count offenses against us by others. The tortures of unforgiveness actually fall on the person who refuses to forgive. You and I allow that offense to continue to poison our lives every day that we refuse to let it go. It becomes our prison of pain and anger. The other person is not harmed nearly as much as you and I are by our refusal to forgive and our insistence on payback. Bitterness poisons the person who contains it. It will drain away the joy in one's life, and poison all our other relationships, because we will not be right with God, unrepentant.

We who are forgiven should understand human failure to do right, since it is so much a part of us, and be willing to forgive. Receiving and understanding God’s forgiveness should grow in us a forgiving spirit. You and I reveal the true condition of our hearts by the way we treat each other people. When you are humble and repentant, then you will gladly forgive people. Where there is pride and a desire for payback, there can be no true repentance. It’s not enough to receive God’s forgiveness, you and I have to experience it and share it with each other.

This isn’t just a careless or shallow forgiveness, this goes deep, it comes from your heart. When you forgive someone who is guilty of repeated sin, they will be encouraged to repent by your love and forgiveness. When you condemn someone you bring out the worst in them. When you look for the good that God has placed in that person, that is deep calling to deep. You bring out the best in them.

How do you view others’ debt to you against your debt to God? How often to you demand payment? Peter wanted Jesus to make a specific rule about forgiveness. He didn’t want to think that he’d just have to keep forgiving a certain someone – whoever that was – for a grievance. Be quiet in your spirit for a minute and ask God to show you if there is any bitterness in there, any hardness towards someone. If you are not willing to forgive that person, then you haven’t really experienced how deep God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness is for you. You can only give what you have received.

Throughout His time with them, Jesus kept telling the disciples they have to love each other, be humble with each other, and forgive each other. If they’re arguing about who’s better, then they obviously don’t get what the Kingdom of Heaven is yet. When they start laying their lives down for each other, that’s when they’ll get it.

Jesus says be like a little child. Look at other people like they are the most amazing people ever. Be generous in asking for forgiveness, and be generous in giving it. To God, this is what greatness is all about

If this post got you to thinking, please leave a comment and join the conversation


Thank you for sharing your thoughts