On Forgiveness

“You can’t forget,” says RLP of forgiveness, “Forgiving has nothing to do with forgetting.”

Read the whole thing.

It is a hard, humbling struggle, to forgive — really, really, forgive — more so in the case of those who think they have done nothing wrong. Not only does forgiveness mean the decision to no longer be hurt when you think about it; it means choosing to stop wishing the offender would feel remorse, choosing to wish for that person’s happiness, choosing to face the hurt and anger head-on, and answer it with peace, joy, and love.

A few things I have learned along that path:

  1. The cliché holds true: Time does heal wounds. The Dane told me that it would eventually not suck, and sure enough, it eventually not sucked. (I did, however, have to humbly recant my boast that I easily “bounce back.” It was mere self-assured arrogance which rang completely false when faced with an actual emotional crisis.)
  2. I think the crisis gave me a taste of how my parents must have felt when I moved out of the house years ago. Being abruptly left by someone you love leaves you bitter and angry, and feelings of vindictiveness and abandonment push forgiveness clear out of your mind. That my parents still love me now means much more to me than it used to, now that I have been through a resonant pain.
  3. Does God feel hurt and anger the same way we do? Is that how God must feel for his children, turned astray, every single one of us, departing from his righteousness every day, many, many times a day, often knowing that we do wrong, yet persisting in sin anyway? If I am pained and angered to distraction over the comparably petty issue of a broken romance, how much more wrath does an infinite God feel over his creation’s stubborn rebellion? Only an infinite forgiveness could cover over such anger completely; such an infinite forgiveness as was gained for us at the Cross. By knowing what it is to be wronged, and to forgive, I realized just how powerful a force is Grace.

I found this sentence at the bottom of my “things to blog” .txt file yesterday. I have no idea when I came up with it; but I do know that many wounds were healed with its writing:

My place now is to be in prayer and thanksgiving, bouyed everyday by the knowledge that the pain of failed love — and even the joy of love renewed — are pale, empty things in the light of the peace and joy given to us by our Lord and Savior.

And that’s all I need say about that.

Comments

  1. Arnold says:

    Inspiring. I remember that one story from Max Lucado where a man wanted to kill his brother for doing him real bad things. In the process he met the Lord and experience His forgiveness himself. When the confrontation came, it was all hugs. It may not be instantanious, but learning to forgive — the real thing — requires the experience itself.

  2. Jesper says:

    Nice.

    [[[On another note, your archive index is recursive. Try it. (offtopic, but thanks :) – bp)]]]