INSPIRATION | Forgiveness Is A Gift We Give To Ourselves
FAITH & INSPIRATION | | by Catherine Manning
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.-Matthew 18:21-22
Have you ever felt that overwhelmingly painful numbness that only comes from a loss or a betrayal? The kind of pain that surpasses the physical and becomes ingrained in your soul, like it was created along with you by God, from left over clay. You start feeling angry because the pain was caused by someone you loved or maybe you think it was caused by God and it’s not fair. You come to the conclusion that you can’t possibly forgive the loved one for either leaving you behind in this world or leaving you for someone else and God becomes the sadistic bully that plays games with people’s lives. Sadly, you don’t realize that forgiveness is more for yourself than anyone else.
God commands us to love and forgive one another, but he says so because forgiveness is a way to fully release ourselves from anger and pain. It allows us to cut off the ankle weights we are trudging along that are holding us back from happiness and really, God’s plan is a plan of happiness. For us to be a Christ driven people we must be willing to accept God’s plan and forgive like our savior does. It’s not easy to forgive God for taking a loved one away or to forgive the person that broke our heart, but if we can let the stains wash off of us and truly surrender, then we can replace the agony with the happiness of God’s pain.
I’ve personally been to this place of pure hopelessness to the point of almost losing my faith in God. I lost a dear aunt to suicide and it was hard to understand why she would choose to take herself away from us. I felt a deep, unquenchable anger because she chose to no longer be on this earth. I wanted her back and I tried to imagine her smile whenever it became too painful to accept her death. One day I decided that I couldn’t be upset any longer because God had a plan that was bigger than my own understanding of the world around me. I surrendered every part of myself to forgiveness and left behind the small, dark box I was living in. I forgave her for leaving behind her pain and I forgave God for taking her away and lastly, I forgave myself for not knowing she was so lost. All that forgiveness healed me and it has the power to heal you too.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. -Ephesians 4:31-32