Always thought of myself as nonjudgmental and forgiving. Not that I’m a saint; I have other faults. But, non the less, I thought that was one area of my life that didn’t need my attention…I had it under control. That was, until last week…a moment, a feeling, a rude awakening.
I heard in conversation that someone who hurt me terribly in the past was happy and doing well. I noticed a twinge inside me. Happy? He hadn’t been. Why is he happy now? I thought I had forgiven and moved on; in reality I hadn’t.
After the terrible pain and my forgiving Sam in my heart, things were difficult for him. There was turmoil and unhappiness in his life. That happens sometimes when you make certain choices and when you hurt others was my rational. “It’s too bad; but, what can you do,” I thought. I never wished Sam ill; yet, I was content with his state of affairs.
So, several years passed. Yes, I said several years, of unhappiness and discontent for him. But now I hear he is happy…things are working out for him, things are better. And, why I wondered, did I feel a twinge of regret…regret that he, too, is happy now.
Wow, that shocked me! How can I begrudge anyone happiness? So, I had to revisit my judging and forgiving. It’s my personality to give people the benefit of the doubt; to try to understand the reasons behind their actions. What is going on in their life to account for such actions. So, that’s a good thing.
Forgiveness. I did have feelings of forgiveness for the hurt I endured. Forgiveness lifts a burden off my shoulders. One must forgive to move on. But, it benefits me; it’s something I needed to do to feel better. Another reason is that I need Jesus’ forgiveness and have to forgive in order to receive forgiveness from Our Lord. So, forgiveness is all about me.
Vengeance. I never go there. I always leave that to God. I heard He’s better at it anyway…think locusts! I’m a scaredy-cat too. I’m afraid any ill I may wish another will come back at me double!
Contentment at Sam’s unhappiness. Well, I just said, “there is a God.”
How unchristian of me! Christ forgave those who crucified Him because He loved them, not because He needed to move on or to lift a burden from His shoulders. Because He loved them. He loves us. He sees what is in our hearts. He forgives us. He loves each and everyone of us unconditionally. He wants us to experience His peace and joy.
So, what am I to do? How can I make that twinge go away? How can I be more Christlike? I need to forgive and to be pleased for Sam’s happiness. To understand that we all are frail and struggling to find our way; we all struggle with our faults and our weaknesses. We cause ourselves and others pain and create our own chaos. We struggle to survive, to move on, to forgive ourselves and to be forgiven. We need forgiveness from others and from God.
Next, I need to pray for those who have hurt me. I need to pray for Sam. Pray each day that he realizes his errors, that he is able to forgive himself, and most importantly, that he finds peace and joy in Our Lord. And I need to thank God for his happiness. A part of me is cringing…pray for Sam everyday? Thank God for his happiness?
Yes, pray and be thankful. I’m going to find a picture of Sam and place it in my prayer book, looking at it as I pray and lift him up to God. Yes, I will take that challenge for the next thirty days to pray earnestly for Sam. Will you join me? Is there someone you need to forgive, to pray for? Will you take the 30 Day Challenge?
I will keep you posted as to how I’m doing and how I feel by writing in “Replies” at the end of this blog. I need your help. Will you join me?
May God bless you and all those you love.
Dear God, Help me to have a forgiving heart, a loving heart. Give me the perseverance and strength to be more like your Son. Be with me during these next 30 days. Amen