Tuesday, June 18, 2013

ATTEMPTING FORGIVENESS



Forgiveness.

What a simple thing to say or read, but what an ever-complex choice to put forth into the world.

It’s been the subject matter of a series of church sermons a month or so ago. A subject that has been weighing heavy on my mind since. I remember thinking to myself at the start of the series, “ah, calling me out again, are ya God?!”

As He always does.

Many people assume that forgiving family members is easier than forgiving friends and/or acquaintances. Personally, I think it is even more difficult.

I use to believe that family starts off with an innate love and trust, even if for no other reason than just being ‘family.’ Like the moment a child is born, they naturally attach to their parents and siblings…a bond that grows deeper with time. A bond we consider sacred.

This is not the case for some. More like an initiation process in some regards.

We have been rather routinely bruised by a family member, with whom we now limit encounters. This unexplained hurt at the hands of a family member makes me question everything I thought I once knew about ‘loved ones.’ And I continually feel forced to grin and bear it, attempting to maintain an illusion of family harmony when we get together for various family functions.

I think bitterness snowballs and the difficulty of forgiveness rises, when we feel that people deny and/or do not identify their wrong. Especially difficult when the person is a repeat offender over the years, with no remorse. Rather, beholds a grandiose perspective, confused by who they aspire to be and who they really are.

When Christ is the center of your relationship, forgiveness is easy and it can be a very humbling experience – this I know is true. But in some instances, bitterness continues to rear its ugly head and becomes a struggle to push away.

It was during this series that I made the choice to focus on Jesus and His forgiveness for me. He continually forgives me before I even acknowledge it. When I get to feeling upset or irritated about dysfunctional family dynamics, I’m making an effort to bring myself back to the foot of the cross. But it is far from an accomplishment and better labeled an attempt -- one I will continually strive to attain.

It is my prayer that whatever hurt you might have, that you meet it with Christ-like humility, love and forgiveness. And will you please pray the same for me?





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