Forgiveness is Easy
How many times do we hear people saying that they just can’t forgive someone? And there are usually very good reasons for that statement. I have used several myself: I’ve been hurt one too many times. What that person said or did is inexcusable. I’d be letting them off the hook if I forgave them.
And yet, there is at least one person we forgive on a daily basis, one person whose sins we always seem to justify, one person who we excuse over and over again, no matter how badly they mess up. That person? Yep, ourselves.
Sure, I say things sometimes that I regret, BUT…Okay, so I got angry and lashed out at a friend, BUT….I’ve made some mistakes that I wish I hadn’t made, BUT…
We don’t hold a grudge against ourselves. We don’t get so mad that we stop speaking to ourselves. We don’t have a point at which we reach that proverbial “last straw” and cut ourselves off from…ourselves.
When Jesus said that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, this is what he meant. And this, he said, was the second most important commandment.
Is the act of forgiving easy? No way! It is incredibly difficult. I just put that in the title to make you read this post Forgive me. But there is an easy aspect to it, though not easy in the “Eat this cheesecake” way. Easy in the sense that we know how to do it. We’ve had practice doing it. We know how to love in such a way that a multitude of sins are covered. Because we do that to ourselves.
And, even more importantly, Jesus has loved us that way. He forgives us for everything, no exceptions. Nothing we can ever do is so bad that Jesus would turn away when we truly repent and seek his forgiveness.
So the next time you are tempted to think someone has gone too far, that you can’t possibly forgive them*, think of yourself. And love that person the way you love yourself. Shower forgiveness on those around you.
*Forgiveness does not mean saying that what someone has done to you is okay. If you have been abused in anyway, if you are being threatened or bullied or mistreated verbally or physically — you need to tell someone you trust. You can forgive the person who has hurt you, but that does not mean that person shouldn’t face the consequences for what he/she has done.