Tuesday, October 4, 2011

To Forgive is Devine...

"Forgiveness, is more than saying sorry." 
Ten cool points if you know what that and the title are from.

Forgiveness is something I am working on. And its hard. And even harder for me to admit. I like to think of myself as having it mostly together for the most part. Which isn't really true or helpful to anyone. True, I have my grasp on some things, but on the issues I struggle with? I struggle big time. And Forgiving Others = The Head Honcho.

First things first, let me lay out my pathetic excuses for my lack of forgiveness, so that we can the proceed to ignore them and get at the heart of the manner.

  1.  It takes a whole lot to get me legitimately angry

       Most things I let just slide, because its not worth it to stress over the little things. You never know what someone else is dealing with that day, or what has gone on in their life. And, we have it way easier than they do. We can get away. They can never be rid of themselves. That's true punishment there. And so, I often believe that if you can make me legitimately angry, you've done something that is worthy of judgement. (So not true, by the way.)

    2.   What they did is completely unacceptable, or I did absolutely nothing to deserve it.
      The first one, well, yes, sometimes people do things that are completely unacceptable. There are some fairly standard ones, like abuse, but I find that my list tends to be a tad excessive. Probably the #1 stupid thing I get legitimately angry over, that I know is completely unacceptable, is when people do stupid things when they know better and then they freak out over the consequences. Which is ironic, since that's pretty much exactly what I'm doing with this anger.

     Second part of that, the I did absolutely nothing to deserve it part? I can think that for as long as I want, and it might be true, but it generally doesn't matter, because they usually aren't doing it to me because of something I've done. It's usually because of the things they've been through. Does that excuse their actions? No, but again, it does explain it.

Ok, lets be done with the excuses. We all have them, and they don't help us, the people who hurt us, or the people around us. They simply put off the dealing with of the real issue, forgiveness.

It's a really difficult thing for people to wrap their mind around. We're told as young children to do things, because it's the fair or right thing to do. We've had drilled into us the absolute importance of remembering from the time we learned our ABC's. But then we're told that when others don't play by the rules, we're supposed to let it slide, despite the unfairness of it all, and forgive and forget. It's just not natural! 

Maybe that's why God changed our nature. 
Maybe that's why the Bible says we are dead to Sin, but alive in Christ. 

We're supposed to throw off the old "self," and take up Him and His nature. And He has got a handle on forgiveness. He's so into forgiveness, He's given Himself the most selective sort of amnesia ever. He forgotten every single sin we've committed. He says they're as far away from His mind as the East is from the West. No wonder we confess that we have the mind of Christ! He's so into forgiveness that He forgave us before we asked; before He met us; before we had done anything, good or bad, He chose to forgive us. And then He chose to blindly trust us.

Forgiveness is at its simplest, a choice. We've got to choose to put aside our hurt, and forgive them. And that doesn't mean that we have to have amnesia, though it might help. It means we have to stop holding it over their heads. We need to stop expecting them to do more of the same, and start expecting and believing the best of them. 

Side note. If you are the person who is in constant need of forgiveness, you do need to make some changes. We, the grudge holders, don't want you to say you're sorry. We're sick of it, and don't believe you. We want you to BE sorry. The word itself holds no meaning, without any action, the same as the word forgiven holds no meaning without action, as well.

There is so much more to this topic, and I am not about to pretend that I have a grasp on more of it than I just shared with you. I am constantly amazed by God's forgiveness to me, and constantly reminded of how much more I need to work on working in His forgiveness. Thank you for following me in this journey.

Thank you for reading and following me in this journey. It means so much. Seriously.

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