the sound of the word makes my heart swell inside my chest and
I feel weak in the knees. Does anyone else feel that way about
is a word that covers many bases and can take on many shapes and
forms, depending on the transgressor and the transgressee. Some
of us may automatically think, (when I say the word "forgiveness"),
of an incident where we have forgiven someone of a transgression
against ourselves. Or some of us may think about our children,
who, having once fought over something trivial, quickly forgave
the quarrel and continued to play happily with each other the
rest of the day.
possibly you might think of an instance in your personal life
right now, one where you know you need to forgive someone . .
. and yet you've been resisting the urge to forgive and forget.
Many different types of things may come to mind. All of us are
different and have lived very different lives.
most of us when we've been hurt, like to hold on to our anger
and our battle wounds. We don't want to let them go. This is just
like to nurse our hurts, put them away for a while like a valuable
treasure, and then take them out and unwrap them every once in
a while, lovingly stroke them, and remember.
practice of storing away our hurts, and our anguish, makes us
somehow feel justified for holding onto our bitterness and hurt
and withholding mercy from one another.
any of this sound familiar to you? I have been guilty of holding
grudges, and it's funny that in spite of me knowing just how bad
that can hurt, I do it anyway. I'm not too proud to say that I've
hurt someone's feelings in the past, and they've not forgiven
me for it. Have you? It really hurts, doesn't it? Yet, we still
tenaciously cling to those grudges we keep locked away, giving
back as good as we've gotten.
comfort friends who've been in a crisis, and it's difficult to
give wise counsel when you have a hard heart towards the one who
has hurt them.
want to "pay back" others for their misdeeds, make them suffer
as much as we have. We turn our backs on tearful apologies, close
our ears to the pleas of sorrow. It's somehow easier that way.
recently heard Bruce Marchiano speak to a group of ladies at the
BEACONS retreat. He spoke about Jesus and his love for women.
He told us how Jesus cringed at the mistreatment of women by the
hands of their fathers and husbands.
told us that Jesus loved us, in spite of our weaknesses and human
frailties. He spoke about Mary Magdalene, and how Jesus didn't
harshly condemn her for her life. He was gentle and kind and He
showered his mercy and love upon her, even before she repented
of her life of sin. He loved her so much that he died for her.
He died to cover the very same sins. He ever so gently rebuked
her for. Mary lived a life of sin, but when Jesus rained down
his love and mercy upon her, and forgave her, she felt clean.
might have even felt pretty and attractive once again. I'd like
to think her heart might have "jumped in her chest" and she might
have felt "weak in the knees," experiencing the forgiveness of
Christ. Think about it.
you remember how you feel at the moment you knew absolutely, unequivocally,
that Jesus Christ forgave you, and He saved you from the transgressions
you've committed in your life? Weren't you so happy inside and
filled with joy that you were dizzy?
with relief and love for the Christ?
we need to realize something very important. We have the same
power to forgive others as Christ did. We need to show the same
love and mercy towards others as Jesus did. We need to let others
feel Christ's mercy and love flow from us and into the hurting
hearts of today's world.
can extend a loving, helping hand towards them, whether they are
our neighbor whose dog just happened to stop for a moment in our
yard and left us a little deposit, as he took his morning constitutional,
or whether it's our best friend who reacted to the stress of the
day in anger towards us, or whether it's our husband, who never,
never does anything right at all!
I could think of anyone who could justly hold a grudge it would
be Jesus. After all, we only killed him. Yet, what did he do?
He became our willing Savior. Can we change our will towards the
mercy side of life instead of being judgmental and holding grudges?
I hope so. I know I need to.
about you? It starts with one person at a time . . . just me and
a story to go along with my article. It gave me a chuckle and
made me realize how silly we humans are sometimes . . . well,
all the time.
evening Phillip came storming into the house, mad. You're right,
"Angry" is the word. But this boy was "mad, mad, mad."
course, it was Ronnie's fault again.
lived across the street and he was Phillip's buddy. But, no sir,
not this time. Whatever he'd done, Ronnie could never come into
our house again.
we ate our meal somewhat subdued that night. Somewhat sad. We
liked Ronnie. Fact is, we loved him..
suddenly, the doorbell rang.
as usual, ran to answer and here he came . . . with whom . . .
You guessed it . . .
Mom, can Ronnie have some ice cream too?
course, he can. But Philip, what about all those things you were
saying? Didn't you mean them?
sure," came the answer, "I meant them. But me 'n Ronnie, we got
it be wonderful if every one of us could say that? And mean it?
you and I find our good forgetters, okay?
is the best forgetter of all . . .
heart is swelling and my knees are weak, as I write these words
just thinking about it . . . "forgiveness"
sooo glad we're forgiven, aren't you?