I am a slow learner.
I learn lessons by crashing cars, breaking bones, and the beating of my head against a wall.
One life lesson that I keep bashing my head against, is forgiveness.
I’ll be honest, I thought I had this one licked. I knew how to do this one. I have lived through a divorce and all the particular pains that were associated with it, and I have forgiven.
Got it covered. Lesson learned….. time to move on…. Right?
Here I am, years later…. visiting the same lesson. Only now it seems harder. circumstances are not the same…. but in thinking I have learned the lesson… I have resented and resisted the trials that have been placed in my life to help me more fully understand the meaning of forgiveness.
This time the lesson isn’t so much in learning how to say “I forgive you.” The lesson is standing READY to forgive.
I am learning how to live out Luke 6:27-36
But if you are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. (Do What???) Pray for the happiness of those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. (Pray? Really? Do you know what they did to me?) If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn the other cheek. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give what you have to anyone who asks you for it; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do for others as you would like them to do for you. Do you think you deserve credit merely for loving those who love you? ( Yes, yes I do…..) Even the sinners do that! (oh…) And if you do good only to those who do good to you, is that so wonderful? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, what good is that? Even sinners will lend to their own kind for a full return. Love your enemies! Do good to them! Lend to them! And don’t be concerned that they might not repay. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to the unthankful and to those who are wicked. ( I have lots of work to do. It is hard to be kind to people who are mean to me.) You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.
I am grateful that God is compassionate.
Grateful for his compassion shown to me as I wrestle with learning how to be ready to forgive someone, who has hurt me, even if they never acknowledge that hurt.
Slowly I am learning how to say, “Father, forgive them, for they know what what they do…” (Luke 23:34)