As kids we fought with our siblings and friends all the time. In fact, that is all our relationship ever was, fights! But the beauty about these fights is that we moved on and made up as easily as we fell out.
Fights these days are less innocent. It’s not about toys or who sat where first. Pride has gotten stronger and we find it hard to forgive the ones that wrong us as much as the wrong doer finds it hard to apologize for their action.
The thing is some things are of a greater magnitude than others. For instance, Diana (not real name) a waitress at a café in town says she was molested by her paternal uncle at the age of 7. He threatened her if she ever told a soul.
“I eventually told my aunt and she was shocked. My uncle fled and hasn’t been seen again,” she says.
The trauma he put her through lasted till she joined a friend’s church group.
“We were asked to let out all the anger and grief in our lives and I found it hard because after I left home, I never opened up to anyone about my past,” she said.
But after a heart wrenching story of abuse, enough tears to leave you dehydrated and an hour of comfort and prayer later, she felt re-born! She let go of that anger and resentment and is now looking for her uncle just to let him know that she has forgiven him.
The Bible teaches us to forgive those who trespass against us just like God forgives us. But how many of us are willing to be like that? To face the man who raped you years ago or the neighbour who killed your family and say, ‘I forgive you’.
Forgiveness seems like too much to ask though without it we can never be at peace with ourselves. We will always be bitter and resentful, and I can assure you that is no way to live. If only we could just be kids again! How blissful life would be.
The question isn’t whether we are strong enough to forgive but whether we could live with ourselves if someone could not forgive us. Forgiving goes hand in hand with being forgiven.
Now, forgiving is one thing but forgetting is a whole other. Is it possible to forgive someone and even forget what they did? I think that is a bit far fetched. What sounds more reasonable is forgiving and never talking about it again because forgetting just seems impossible, at least to me!
But at the end of the day it is all about you as an individual and how you feel about forgiveness because you know what you went through, every gruesome, traumatizing, utterly sad bit of it.
Like Diana, maybe spiritual counseling could help us understand what it means to forgive. Evil shall not go away un-punished. What we need to understand is our duty is to be the best we can be and let God take care of the rest.
Jesus was mocked, beaten to near un-recognition, and nailed so brutally to a cross for apparently no reason whatsoever for the good of man- kind.
Our sins were instantly washed away by the shedding of innocent blood. Our blood’s innocence is in no comparison to His whatsoever but can’t we at least try to follow the example of forgiveness?
Forgiveness is not easy, but if we try, we could at least be at peace with ourselves and live life the way it was meant to be lived.