Forgiveness is all about you making up your mind. You can look at your offender and get even or you can give grace. We tend to want justice when we’re wronged and grace when we wrong another. Every one of your close relationships will deepen or dry up depending on your ability to forgive. Seven years ago, a client gave me a little book titled simply Forgiveness, by Adam Hamilton. On page 53, Adam drives home a wonderful point around forgiveness as he describes our tendency to hold onto our skewed sense of justice instead.
“Because we are human, all of us sometimes do things we shouldn’t do. When your partner, has done everything or, more realistically, almost everything possible to take the pain away, to lift the rocks from your backpack, then it’s up to you. Sometimes we decide that we like to collect these old rocks. We hear our partner earnestly seek our forgiveness, but we decide to hold on to the rock. We decide that we like it in our backpack. At that point, the offended becomes the offender. That’s no better or fairer than creating it in the first place. Both repentance and forgiveness take effort. Yet both are works and expressions of LOVE.”
Want a hand to hold onto that deeply connects with you? Lean toward grace not justice. Develop the habit of expressing your regret and repairing. Develop the habit of accepting your partners attempt at repair and gracefully forgive. Let go of the rocks, not the hand. You choose what you hold onto. Your choices have consequences. Jesus, thank You for your offer of Grace. And, thanks for holding onto me, taking my rocks and placing them “as far away as the east is from the west.” Thank you, God, for the precious gift of grace. What about you friend, is your heart filled with gratitude or get even? It’s easier to forgive another when our heart is filled with grat instead of get, right? What do you think? Slow down and reflect.
Live hard. Love harder. Make sense?