We have been discussing forgiveness for several days: what it is, what it isn’t, and why it is important. Today, I will tell you about the aspect that pushed me to really forgive. You see, I played a lot of sports and was a very competitive person…my kids would say I still am. When I got wronged, my competitive nature (as well as some other baggage) would kick in. I wasn’t going to let anybody beat me! I needed my rival to realize that I was in control of them…that I wasn’t beaten…that they got hurt more than me. In order for that to happen, I needed something from them. Admit they were wrong, take responsibility for their action, feel some pain, suffer a consequence, pay a penance for their transgression, make it all better. Realize the problem? My happiness, relief, or comfort depends on the other person doing something.
Therefore, I was giving my rivals power over me, because they can withhold the “it” that I need as long as they want. Me needing that “it” from them puts me in a dependent position to them and what they do. I had trouble seeing the relationship with them clearly and moving forward because I still needed an “it” from them. Bitterness, inferiority, fear, rage, nervousness, injustice, revenge, and many other uneasy feelings would course through me when I saw or thought of my rivals. A lot of my behaviors were to try to inflict pain on them or push them to see how they wronged me. Finally, I realized how much power and influence they had over me. I realized that I don’t want to give them the power, and that I don’t handle the power well myself. So I decided to give the power to God. He has the power, deserves the power, and will always see that justice is administered. I just need to let God do His job and I can then follow God’s instructions to me.
Today, try to identify people that have power over you, or who negatively dominate your thought world. Chances are you probably haven’t really forgiven them and still need an “it” from them for you to move forward. Think why you need the “it”. That is your issue. Quit pointing the finger at others. God has given you way more than you could ever need or want, so what can someone else possibly give you that you can’t move on without?
Dear Father, thanks for helping me learn to forgive. Help me desire, think, and act in such a way that you are the one I want to have power over me. Help me to really see the forgiveness you extend to me, not worry about what others will or will not do, and help me see the evil one as the enemy, not my transgressor. By the power of Jesus’ forgiving blood- AMEN!
Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.