Friday, September 4, 2015
the power of forgiveness
The verse that jumped out at me today is one that I've taken to heart when I'm at work. Ecc 7:21-22 says "Don't eavesdrop on others - you may hear your servant curse you. For you know how often you yourself have cursed others."
Now, the booksellers at my store aren't my "servants", and they don't exactly "curse" me. But the people who work with me, both my superiors and those who work for me do say negative things about me sometimes. It's only natural when you work with someone long enough that something they do will bother you. And as you know, it can cut to the heart when you hear someone you respect say something negative about you. It can be hard to let that go.
But that brings up the bigger issue of forgiveness. If we hang on to the things that people do wrong, even when they do us VERY wrong, we aren't hurting them (usually. Sometimes we ARE hurting them, too.) We are mostly hurting ourselves. We are allowing the pain in our lives (and every life has pain in it... which, as you might have read in my previous blogs, can be really great sources of growth in our lives) to make us bitter. And that's the worst thing we can do with our pain.
When we forgive other people, we are doing some amazingly good things in their lives and mostly in our own life. We are exercising an act of love. And one profound result of this is: when you forgive someone else, you give yourself permission to forgive yourself, too.
As long as you hold on to the bitterness of unforgiveness, you will also find it next to impossible to forgive yourself for the things that YOU do wrong. But when you forgive them, you learn to forgive YOU, too.
And we all need forgiveness.
Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Your name
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done
On Earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us
and lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the Kingdom, the power, and the glory are Yours,
now and forever.