Forgiveness as been weighing a lot of my heart lately.
One reason is because there was a contest on the radio station I listen to that was photo entry showing on a sign what Jesus had saved you from. And even though I had no intention of entering, I thought to myself what I would enter, and I decided that it probably would have been “Jesus saved me from all of my yesterdays.” Every morning I get up, and I have grace and mercy anew each morning. Wait. Stop. I HAVE GRACE AND MERCY NEW EACH AND EVERY MORNING! Do I act like it? No. I act like I got up at 5:30 am (which I did) to be at work till somewhere between 6:30 and 11:00 pm (which I am). I drudgen through. I fake energy and enthusiasm when I have none to spare. BUT I HAVE GOD’s GRACE! And that should put a spring in my step.
I think the hardest person to forgive in any situation is myself. I mean, I can be mad at my husband, or my friends, or someone in my past, but even when I decide to forgive these people and move on, the harsh word I said, the action I did, whatever, that sticks with me. Days, weeks, months, or even years later, what I did can come back to haunt me. I am occassionaly plagued by the one mean action I can remember doing to my sister as a child. (which is of course, hitting her with a fair stick). I think, man, how is she still my friend after that, after getting bleach on her favorite sweater, after lying about getting bleach on her favorite sweater, after me not being a good role model in 4,923 situations? How? How did she forgive me when I can’t forgive me? Or I’m steaming mad at my husband. And then I think “WHOA! He’s hurting too. I HURT him.” And suddenly I am less mad and a lot more penitant.
Or just little things or big things as they come up. I said this to so-and-so. I did this. I did something worse. Who knows. But it comes back up. And I’m like “Now I can understand being forgiven for the small stuff, but how is Jesus forgiving me for this?” And that’s just a lie from the enemy. He wants me to believe I’m not good enough. It’s ok, satan, I already know. But what I ALSO know is that I am forgiven by the blood of the perfect lamb without blemish or defect; the one who CHOSE to hang on the cross because He knew in 2000 years, that I would mess up, a lot, and need his love and grace and forgiveness.
There is a great song out right now. There is a line in the lyrics that says:
“When I don’t fit in, and I don’t feel like I belong anywhere…When I don’t measure up to much in this life, I’m a treasure in the arms of Christ….cause I’m forgiven!”
Now, where this comes in for me is that God calls us to forgive others, as well as ourselves. He has made it right through the sacrifice on the cross. Who are we to deny that gift? We should revel in it. And use each second chance and do-over to figure out how to get it as right as we can in this world and do whatever it is that God has called us to do. I cannot wait to teach my children this someday. I cannot wait to show it on my face in interactions with people who have hurt me with or without knowing it. Forgiveness changes you. From the inside. Both when you give it and when you receive it.
So, I would like to extend some serious forgiveness out to those who have hurt me. And I would also like to BEG forgiveness from those I have hurt. And even though I won’t be calling them all up tonight, I will and will continue to be praying for God’s peace to wash over them and me through this beautiful gift of forgiveness.