Wednesday June 15, 2016 Forgives

One who forgives an affront fosters friendship, but one who dwells on disputes will alienate a friend.  Proverbs 17:9

In the wake of a hurt, it is the hardest thing in this world to forgive.  Whether it is a betrayal of friendship or spousal commitment, a lie or gossip, death of a loved one, or a an act of evil like a shooting, the human tendency is to fight back vehemently and radically.  The venom of a woman scorned is well documented through history.  Wars have been fought over a perceived slight between two rulers.

I have learned a very deep and abiding lesson… When I don’t forgive, it is like drinking poison expecting my enemy to die.  When I cling tightly to my anger and resentment, I become bitter and depressed and the person who “harmed me” has moved on.  I am sick and they are going along with their life.  I have learned some tricks that have helped me to move past my anger.

  • Write a letter forgiving the wrong (it is your choice whether to mail it… it opened up some interesting discussions with family when I did send this letter, because in many cases they were unaware that their actions had hurt me.
  • Talk it out thru role playing… I have played both sides of the argument. I learned a great deal putting myself in their shoes.
  • Have a forgiveness party with others in similar situations… abuse victims, divorcees, rape victims often come together to forgive their attackers and burn pictures or other memories connected to their personal tragedies
  • Journal each day about three things you are grateful for… Gratitude and anger cannot live in the same space.

Jesus demonstrated forgiveness throughout His life and aspiring to be like Him in this regard is the ultimate lifestyle choice.  He forgave sinners, those who scourged Him and His best friend who denied even knowing Him.  That is a powerful model for the art and power of forgiveness.

Lord, I beg You to help me forgive those who have hurt me.  Help me to look past the affronts into the person who dwells within.  Help me to never dwell on the hurt but focus on creating good from tragedy, gratitude from devastation.  With You I can forgive and move on. 

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