Today, during another teaching from Rich Nathan at Vineyard Columbus Church, we learned the difference between forgiving and floor mats. As believers, we are called to forgive as we’ve already been forgiven. Forgiving does not mean we become floor mats for another. To forgive means to let go, to set free, to release. When we forgive, oddly enough, it is our own selves whom are most set free.
We can, however, set limits to another persons behaviors.
We can set limits on behaviors we tolerate. We cannot limit forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean reunion or reconciliation. Forgiveness only requires one heart – my own. Reconciliation, on the other hand, requires both parties. You, friend, can control your heart. Is there someone whom you still hold in contempt, disgust, and in the clenches of your mind?
Forgive. Let go. Set free. Release.
“To excuse what can really produce good excuses is not Christian character; it is only fairness. To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. This is hard. It is perhaps not so hard to forgive a single great injury. But to forgive the incessant provocations of daily life – to keep on forgiving the bossy mother in law, the bullying husband, the nagging wife, the selfish daughter, the deceitful son – how can we do it? Only, I think, by remembering where we stand, by meaning our words when we say in our prayers each night ‘forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.’ We are offered forgiveness on no other terms. To refuse it is to refuse God’s mercy for ourselves. There is no hint of exceptions and God means what he says.” C.S. Lewis
Today, I learned a thing or two about forgiveness. My biggest learning? It’s a process, not an event. Forgiveness is a process. Today, I began the process of letting go, setting free, and releasing a wrong done to me by a close friend. I peeled away the first layer of pain, let it go, released it. I’m not done, simply starting the process of forgiving. Good…