I think that in accepting ourselves, our pasts, our ups and downs, we grow a greater capacity to accept others. As much as it goes against my natural grain, I am learning to look at my own life and my own failures and what I lack personally and just kinda say, “Yep. That’s what it is.” With a bit of humor, with a bit of hope, and with a lot of acceptance of the fact that not every loose end is going to be tied up nicely and not every relationship is going to stay strong and not every goal is going to be realized. We can just be. And when we come to that place for ourselves, it’s pretty neat how we can feel a peace and acceptance about how others have wronged or disappointed or even sinned against us.
In forgiveness, it doesn’t mean we are agreeing with those people or saying we are happy those situations happened. It isn’t saying, “Oh, I understand why you did that” or even “It’s okay.” Forgiveness, I think, just means that we are letting those people, ourselves, even our judgement toward God Himself, off the hook. We hold people up on this hook, we do. Call it a grudge, call it self protection, but we have people on our hook. And at any point, we can let them off of it. We can say, “I no longer condemn you for that” and we take them to and leave them with our Father who will deal with them however He sees fit. Wouldn’t you want someone to do that for you? Set you free from their hook, with all the baggage, miscommunication, events preceding the conflict, that came with it? For someone to take me off their hook, love me despite what I may deserve, and carry me to Jesus in the privacy of their own prayer life and let Him deal with me how He sees fit, my hands off…I think that’s Kingdom living.
Also, in forgiveness, I think we come to the place where we realize we are capable of just about anything. Given the right (or should I say wrong) circumstances, upbringing, indoctrination, pain, sleeplessness, and the list could go on, I must realize I am capable of the very worst. I’m capable of thinking I deserve something more than someone else and there selfishness breeds…I have no love, no patience, no kindness without the Lord constantly being my Source…I can be angry, prideful, and hateful, and not only can I be, I have been! This realization that we all come to, friends, is called humility. It’s called agreeing with the reality of what is. It’s not giving up on being who God has called us to be, it’s simply living in gratefulness and awareness of His grace… and our daily need for it.
Life is just too short. Sometimes you just have to say, “Bless your heart…I’m moving on…Thanks for this opportunity for me to learn about giving grace from the Well of grace I’ve received.”