Last month we addressed the impact of trust or lack thereof on our relationships, and that trust is a gateway to love. As is often the case when praying and pondering about writing this article, I usually have to experience what I’m writing. Candidly, sometimes I tell God I don’t want to write about “that subject” because I know he’ll expose me to the cracks and crevices and sometimes caverns of my brokenness and require me to experience or revisit some element of the subject. So, this month we’ll move from trust to forgiveness. And yes, both topics I’ve experienced painfully in the last 45 days. Not a fun journey but necessary.
We’ve all had/have problematic relationships, and we all have been the offended and the offender. So, what is real forgiveness? Does it mean we don’t wince when we see their name pop up on our phone or screen? Does it mean we aren’t hurting anymore? Does it mean we’ve forgotten all the harsh, hostile words? Does it mean we continue to overlook bad behavior and forge ahead? Does it mean we have to continue to share life with them? The answer is NO.
So how do we do forgiveness if we don’t have the warm fuzzies of forgiveness? There is a practical side of forgiveness, and that’s BEING & DOING. Being comes before doing. We can demonstrate forgiveness and depend on God for the doing. In other words, out of obedience to God we can respond to our offender in a manner pleasing to Him and rely on Him to heal our wounds and bring us to a place of peace, release and heartfelt forgiveness. We don’t have to grit it up and gut it out. We obey, and He changes our hearts. We can learn and practice forgiveness, but it’s a process that may take courage and always takes time.
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Contact Lisa at LisaMay@livethelife.org
Lisa May is the Executive Director of South Florida for Live the Life South. Live the Life exists to strengthen marriages and families through healthy relationship education beginning in middle school through senior adults. For information visit LivetheLifesoflo.org