Forgiving is a hard thing to do and I wish it weren't so. It means choosing to believe someones apology rather than believe it's a way for them to clear their conscience. It means excusing the incident and continuing to love where you left off. Ugh, that one is especially hard. To be so mad one minute and then to love enough to hug and make up? I didn't like it as a kid and I still have a hard time being able to smile minutes after being hurt.
Marriage is a good field to learn how to forgive more freely. You have to, or it's the couch for ya! Argh!! My husband forgives quite freely and with great ease. Sometimes it makes me sick to my stomach because I know I hardly ever do that for him in return. It's not that I don't love him, I'm just stubborn. This stubbornness, if let to run wild, cultivates grudges. Grudges in my case come in the form of a catalog of wrong doings one has done against me or the total refusal to invest time or interest in someone even if I don't know them at all. They hurt me or someone I loved and that's all I need to know, right?! Wrong. By choosing to be this way I burn bridges with people that could have used love over judgment or I end up looking fake as I force myself to be cordial without truly allowing myself to cultivate a relationship. However, God continues to do something wonderful for me that serves as a good kick in the rear. When I want to catalog someones wrongs, He presents me with opportunities to see into their lives so I can see who they truly are and not just their mistakes. And those I am fake to? (This is the best) I always end up finding out that they are a lot like me; hobbies, demeanor, likes, dislikes, etc. Awesome right? I can't keep turning from them because I start to feel for them and I can't pretend to be anything when I honestly relate to and understand them. Ouch.
As of this day I can think of maybe two people my heart needs to open up better to. Just a little bit ago I got to see into the life of one of those people. Every time I do so with this particular person I find myself genuinely relating and understanding. It boggles my mind but it shouldn't. They are human just like I am. I mess up all the time and I would hate to run into someone like me who is so slow to forgive. I would want grace and understanding; maybe even a second chance. So why shouldn't I be just as willing to give that? It would be so much wiser of me than to let my rear be exposed to a God sized foot every time I want to be unmovable.
It takes a great amount of humility to forgive at all and a great deal of strength and unconditional love, two things that are impossible to have unless Christ is the source. I want to be honest in my love and God helps me to do that. Grace is a necessity, you've likely needed on multiple occasions yourself so don't be stingy in giving it! Blessed is the heart free from chains of anger. It flies freely and loves boundlessly and sees light where many may only ever see darkness. What a gift.
Boldly and Brashly,