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Forgive as you would like to be forgiven

I came to the realization that When my feelings are I hurt give the offender a ‘grace’ period. At any time during the ‘grace’ period, the offender can come, apologise, and be forgiven with little to no repercussions. However, if the offender, during that period of grace does nothing to rectify their wrong, I go into almost total shut down mode which creates a wall that can take a very, very long time to penetrate. This wall closes out not just the perpetrator, but just about anyone, as by then the only ‘good’ people are the ones in my personal utopia called my imagination. This fail safe place is impenetrable even by a good night’s sleep.

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As I sat and studied myself one morning, I couldn’t help but notice how comfortable I was being alone in a room full of some of the most genuinely nice people that I’ve ever met. I could not help but wonder “Is God just like me? Does He get sad and hurt and resort to a safe place too? Has He ever locked Himself in His Heavenly room and pretends to live in a perfect world where no one ever says mean things to Him and not be sorry about it? Can He relate to what I was feeling?”

As I pondered all these things about God, I remembered a few verses from a book that I trust with my life – the Bible.  Luke 17:3-4 says clearly “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.” Each time I read these verses I get baffled. Seven times in a day just seem so much. Once maybe a mistake, but certainly five, six and seven are done purposefully!

No, that’s not my problem

Someone’s reason for doing me wrong is not my problem, my responsibility is to forgive the moment they ask. I consider myself a very calculated person, however, even I have accept that there is no formula for forgiveness, as the pieces don’t always fall the same way. There is only a a ‘one size fits all’ as you listen to the Word who says in Matthew 6:12-15 “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors…For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Simply Forgive as you would like to be forgiven.

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. – C.S. Lewis

Forgiveness is something that we need to do so we can live a free, forgiven life along the two way street where, if we want to be forgiven for the mess that we get ourselves into daily, we also need to be prepared to forgive those whose mess splash in our direction.

The Lord is waiting to forgive us – to forgive me – I realised. All He ask that that we let it all go and forgive/love our neighbours, friends, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives and let’s not forget, our enemies.

– TL

Additional Resources

How to Balance Forgiveness & Righteous Anger

Faith & Forgiveness

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