Sometimes, we take things for granted. Most often, we usually don’t realize we are doing that; unless something comes along, to jar our memory. Over the past couple of years, I think I have tried to pray for everything I could think of. Perhaps if we come close to dying, we begin to understand just how short life can be, and how things can truly change, within a few minutes. Of all the things I have tried to thank God for, there seems to be one particular thing, I had been actually omitting.
How many times has God forgiven me? How many times have I asked Him? When I think back over my life, I’m talking round about 60 years of knowing right from wrong, an average of 365 days in a year. If I even try to measure today, I find that I am asking Him at least once a day, even now.
I learned in a very gracious program, that it’s best to do an inventory every night; of all the things that happened during the day. I’m taught to look for anything that was selfish, unkind, neglectful or even spiteful. And, I am to admit it promptly, when I am wrong, and make it right. In other words, don’t let it build up. Sweep off my own doorstep, at least once each evening.
Oh, how weighted down we become, when we hold on to things. Can I be the one, to confess that this has been one of my character defects? Yes, I have no problem doing that today. How might I know this. Because, I also know what it is to hang on to things you can’t seem to let go of; I know the damage it does to a person. It robs you of so many minutes, hours, days and even months, sometimes years, of time you could have used in some other more constructive way. It may be, that it’s not until we began to age, that we look back and see, just how much time we wasted. We might find ourselves, wishing we had learned much, much sooner, how to forgive.
I’ve said it before; forgiveness is almost always a process. For some of us, we had to begin forgiving people, even when we didn’t mean it. We had to keep saying it and working at it, until it became a reality.
Some might say, that’s being a hypocrite. So be it. If it gets me to where I need to be, I’ll just be a hypocrite, until I be real about it. What I do know is, it works.
Some of us, have gone through some very bad things in our lives. In abusive kinds of family situations, other people may have no clue, what kind of atrocities someone might face. Those things go deep and they do a lot of damage. It takes a lot of healing for some issues; and a lot of work to forgive it all.
I think, Jesus Christ knew a great deal about human behavior; and I think He knew how people, are prone to hang on to stuff; it’s harder for some, than others. Holding on to hurts, and brooding over them, will destroy you; and it will help to destroy those around you also.
We can hide things, and think we’ve dealt with it, when we haven’t. Often times, we cannot forgive, unless God gives us the courage and strength to do it; we just can’t. At this moment, I understand more why Christ and the apostles said, many times, to be kind to one another, tenderhearted and forgiving one another. The end of the verse says, “even as God, for Christ’s sake, hath forgiven you.”
I truly do want people to forgive me. But, I may have to forgive them first.
“Then Peter came to Him and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Until seven times?
Jesus said to him, I do not say to you, Until seven times; but, Until seventy times seven“ Matthew 18:21-22.
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you” Ephesians 4:32.