Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Secret to Learning How To Forgive

Learning how to forgive others is one of the hardest things to do. Jesus could do it. But can we?

We have all been hurt. Some worse than others. Many more than me. We lack confidence too. Some days we seem to soar with confidence, but all it takes it seems is for one wrong thing to happen and we are ready to give up or fall apart. You see, the problem, I finally figured out, is that we forget who we are.

I am a child of God. God accepted me into his family. I am a son of God. And my value, my worth, comes only from my relationship to Him. Sometimes we forget. My true worth as a person does not come from being so handsome :), and it does not come from my net worth. My value as a person does not depend on the car I drive or the house I live in. It does not come from the family I was born into. It is not connected to being smart, or my job or anything like that. My true worth does not come from who I am married to. When you finally look closely, it boils down to this. I am a child of God. The trouble is that we forget.

We hear the TV talk to us. The TV talks to us constantly, one show after another, day after day after day. It talks to us about revenge, getting even, about being enraged. The TV tells us all the wrong things. The TV tells us to demand certain things from people, like respect and fair play. The TV tells us to seek other’s approval. The TV tells us all the time we should be enraged over this or that and this or that should not be tolerated. The TV lies to us. Not realizing that and taking our eyes off God, his acceptance, His love and His plan for our life and putting our attention elsewhere, we set ourselves up to be hurt.

Sometimes we are insulted. Someone has something ugly to say about us. Sometimes our critics have ulterior motives. An old proverb from India goes, "Some men try to be tall by cutting off the heads of others." They try to make themselves feel better by making others feel bad. You have probably had the experience of being put down by a nasty remark. When that happens, it is easy to forget that others are broken just like us.

Jesus understood that people are broken. No one knows us like He. He forgave the tax collectors. He forgave the prostitutes. And he forgave even Peter for betraying him. On his last day he forgave those who killed him. He knows we all are weak. And he stands ready to forgive us all.

Forgiveness. How do we let it go?

The answer is in trusting God. You trust God for salvation, don’t you? We have to trust him to make things right when we forgive. He will heal our wound so we can move on. We have to depend on Him instead of ourselves.

It is almost against our human nature. But it is the secret of the Christian life, and the secret to forgiving. We just have to trust God. It sometimes can be hard. But is it certainly not complicated. It is the only way to forgive.

I have made mistakes. Some much bigger than others. To all of you who were hurt by my mistakes and chose to forgive me, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. To any who still have lingering hurt over somthing I did or said, I am sorry.  I am truly sorry and I hope you can forgive.  If we need to talk about it, I would welcome the opportunity to speak to you face to face and ask your forgiveness.

To all who have hurt me at one time or another, today I forgive you. Today, it is over. All is forgiven. Nothing more needs to be said or done, as far as I am concerned.  I forgive you and that is that.  The slate is clean. Everything I was holding on to, I have let it go, and God took it away, far away, as far as the east is from the west.  May God bless us all.