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Forgiving is Hard

Someone asked me last night how I am dealing with drama in my life that occurred a few weeks ago. This post is my reflection on that question.
 

Forgiveness is one virtue I have a very hard time with. I am trying, and trying very hard. I am putting my faith in Jesus to lead me and show me the way. I must admit I am a lot better at it now then say 10+ years ago. I am finding with my new-found faith in God through the Episcopal church, it is easier than it has ever been before.

Every day that I read the Bible I find another passage that strikes home, like

Philippians 3:13b “Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,”


which makes it easier and easier for me to place everything in God’s hand and rely on Jesus to help and guide me. 

In Forward Day by Day Saturday’s reading had a wonderful saying:

“The eternal God is whispering: “Don’t fill your life

with broken shards of the trivial; tell someone you love

them; forgive from the heart. Don’t defer joy to some

future which never arrives. I stand knocking at your

door.”"

I know for me (my great-aunt, who was like a mother to me, died in my arms, and my brother-in-law passed away while my husband was with him, so very unexpectedly) these deaths brought the realization of forgiveness and numbered days. However, I know someone who has had both parents die young and tragically and yet they harbor resentment and fill their life with broken shards of the trivial. I pray for this person every day that he/she will realize we need not harbor resentment in our hearts, because we just do not know when tragedy will strike. Instead we need to love one another and live each day as if it is the last. The whole meditation really spoke to me and I pray that it will also speak to you and those who need it.

Here are a few Bible verses that I go to during those times when I am struggling, or when that feeling of resentment begins to bubble deep down inside and I can feel it gurgling and know I am going to slip into what ifs, and coulda, shoulda and wouldas.

“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

“Love prospers when a fault if forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.” Proverbs 17:9

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15

“…Lord how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times.” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22

“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Mark 11:25

and finally Colossians 3:13-15 really hits it home every time.

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”

I took my confirmation on Sunday into the Episcopal church of The Holy Comforter in Burlington NC. Now these verses in Colossians really mean a lot to me because Bishop Gregg asked us if we will renew our commitment to Jesus Christ, and I answered “I do, and with God’s grace I will follow him as my Savior and Lord.” He also asked the congregation – the members of the one body – “Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support these persons in their life in Christ?” and they answered “we will.” Then the bishop said to the congregation, “Let us join with those who are committing themselves to Christ and renew our own baptismal covenant.” Therefore, I am reminded even more of what Jesus stood for and how he died for us.

  1. Good thoughts for reflection…the need to forgive is a regular discipline for each of us…I know it is for me. Love your description…a German Yankee living in the South. : ) I’m a Western Yankee living in the South.

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