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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Forget About Forgiving?

Forgiveness is one of those pesky little things that I, personally, would like to overlook in the Bible. The only problem is that it's about the most commonly-mentioned concept (except maybe being struck dumb with awe) that's mentioned.

So I guess it's important. Like castor oil, and cabbage. But maybe there are some ways to make it a bit more palatable...

  1. It's not a free pass - you're nor giving blanket absolution to the person; that's God's job. You're putting aside the anger in your own heart.
  2. It's not an invitation - you don't have to forgive and then invite the person back into your life as if nothing's happened. No, wait. You do have to treat them as if nothing's happened. But you don't have to reinstitute the old patterns of behavior that led to your being hurt in the first place.
  3. It's not weak - forgiveness is not a weepy clinging and teary promises that everything's going to be all right. It's you, saying to yourself, "let it go". And then, letting it go, and when feelings of anger and bitterness surface, refusing to let them in, and refusing to hate.
  4. It's about you - forgiveness is designed to help your soul, to give you freedom. Hating someone else is, as Joyce Meyer says, like taking poison in the hope that your enemy will die. Kind of stupid.
Not easy at all. I'm not very good at it. But it seems to be important to God, so I guess I have to try.

Every day.


  1. Forgiving someone who did something lame and apologized from the core of his/her being is SOOOO much easier than forgiving a blood relative who sold me down the river. The sad thing is, I'm beyond being annoyed, I feel very little for her. But I do know that some people have had very serious trauma happen to them and it takes a steady grip on God's hand to get through all that has happened.

    1. The whole point in forgiving is letting go...letting it fall into the pool of God's grace. It's NOT about redeveloping feelings for someone who's wronged you. Forgiveness is for you, to allow you to lay the burden down. God certainly doesn't want you to pick up another burden, that of trying to manufacture feelings that ain't there no more.

    2. I *know* that, I do. But part of me just can't let go. And I know that I should. I do know that. At least I have a good example of forgiveness in Jesus, right? And in a few others too.

  2. Letting go is hard - it's like holding onto a rope for so long that your fingers are locked in place. It takes an act of will - and some prying - to release your grip.

    here's another analogy - if you carry a brick for a mile or two, in your hand with your arm by your side, it's not a problem to keep ahold of it. But if you try to put it on a table, you'll automatically release it. (This is a good thing to bet on, and win - most people don't know this!)

    The point is that you will hold the brick until you try to do something completely different - putting it on a table. Then letting go will be not only automatic, but inevitable.