There appears to be a recurring life lesson I keep running into on my journey. The lesson of forgiveness. I think I’ve finally come to the conclusion that the act of forgiveness is simply going to be a never ending, continual, very important, have to do it every day, part of my earthly existence.
I have a little bit of a problem dealing with my desire to live in a world that is probably reserved for the after-life. I long for a place where I am loved…really loved. A place where I am understood and trusted. A place without envy and offense. A place where people understand me and give me all the room in the world to just be me. I find myself wanting to at least pretend that it is possible to live there right now. But, it’s not possible. Why?
Because you and I are surrounded every single day by insecure, imperfect people (including ourselves!).
And as a result of their brokenness, they hurt with their words, betray my trust, and cling to distorted perceptions of who they think I am. All too often, I hear of something that was said about me, or thought, or done, and I find myself, once again, feeling hurt and betrayed.
Now, This pain leaves me with two options.
A) I can build walls around my heart that keeps everyone around me at a safe distance. A wall to protect myself from the risk of another painful relational disappointment.
B) Or, I can choose to love by learning to live in a constant state of forgiveness.
For me, as risky as it is…I choose option B.
Why would I make this choice?
1) Because, through the blood of Jesus, I have received forgiveness. Great forgiveness from my Heavenly Father.
2) Because I still need God to forgive me…every single day, over and over. I need Him to look past all my insecurities, fears, and imperfections and love me enough to heal my brokenness and let me try…again.
3) Because I need the people around me, those that make up “my world”, to forgive me. As hard as I try to “get it all right”, there are sometimes (no, oftentimes!) that I miss the mark. I said the wrong thing, or I didn’t speak at all, or I totally mishandled the situation. Expectations weren’t met and someone I love was hurt and disappointed.
Since the Word promises, "You will reap what you sow,” I’ve decided to sow forgiveness…a lot of forgiveness. Because a lot of forgiveness is what I need.
When Peter ask Jesus, “How often do I have to forgive someone that sins against me? Seven times a day???" I’m glad Jesus answered him by saying, “Not seven times, but seventy TIMES seven!!!” That’s 490 times A DAY!!!
So, yes, today I will forgive again. And again.