Society does not value forgiveness. When a public figure fails, we want it on the TV news. When a person hurts us or misinterprets our actions, we angrily relive it over and over. When a driver cuts us off, we envision penalties far exceeding the crime. We are people who hate to be cheated and inconvenienced. We want those people to pay—and pay big. We want them to suffer.
But at the same time, we accidentally (and occasionally deliberately) put ourselves ahead of others, hurt them, deprive them of opportunities, and damage their reputation without a thorough investigation. We excuse ourselves, saying we never meant to. Or we dismiss our actions because of prior hurts, but the score is never evened out. Two wrongs don’t make a right. It drags our lives and society down.
That’s when we need forgiveness. Forgiveness is that “reset button” that clears the record and allows you to start again without a black cloud hanging over you. (Forgiveness is not the same as trust, but that’s another blog post topic.)
This week, Rose Publishing is giving away a free downloadable e-chart called: Six Reasons to Forgive. See below for some of Jesus’ radical teachings.
1. Jesus said we will be forgiven by God at the same level we forgive others. It makes you think twice before blasting someone.
2. Jesus said that to live as his true follower, you must be kind to and care for your enemies (vicious ex-wife, guy who cut you off on the freeway, insensitive boss, loud neighbor, the crook, and that family member).
3. Jesus said that when we don’t forgive, we leave ourselves open to spiritual deception. In other words, we start going down paths that seem right, but are actually destructive.
Forgiveness requires God’s help in many cases. A simple prayer, such as “Lord, I cannot forgive this person, so help me,” starts you on the right path. Then, “act as if you have forgiven them.” Be kind to that person, look out for their best interests, and if you cannot, at least stay away from them at times you have difficulty controlling your reactions.
How have you forgiven someone even when it was a challenge?