We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies. Martin Luther King, Jr
Some days I just feel the need to write. There’s some kind of healing that happens, I believe when you can just throw the words out of your mind and onto paper or a screen. I’ve been gnawing on some things that have been going on in my life with certain people who are causing discourse either with those around me or myself and at the same time I’m reading a book that is reminding me to love the unlovable, people different from myself, those I mostly don’t acknowledge or even see. But, to do this is hard, especially when you encounter those who are ready to run you over and take anything that is left of you or accuse you of not caring when you care more than they understand.
These feelings are minor compared to what Jesus must have felt when those closest to him abandoned him. That’s what I have to remind myself of. Jesus felt all the heaviness of all types of problems, sins, hurts, regrets, guilt, accusations but still loved the world enough to bear them. What amazing love that is. Yet, how many times have I felt disappointed in God for not doing what I expected him to do? How many times have I tried to manipulate God to get what I want? How many times have I shut the door in his face because He’s telling me something that I don’t want to hear? How many times have I been selfish? How many times have I been cruel? How many times have I blamed Him for something I caused myself? How many times have I hurt him? How often have I pushed him away? How many times have I run over him? How many times have I lied to him? All these questions remind me of the scripture where Peter asked Jesus how many times do I forgive someone who sins against me? Is 7 times enough? Jesus replied to Peter and said, no seventy times seven. Now me, my math skills are terrible, so I would just know that number is more than I can count on my hands. But, after I figure it up with a calculator, the number is 490. I don’t think Jesus intended for Peter to keep score to 491 and then write them off as unforgiven. I think he just gave a high number to show that to forgive isn’t something you should keep score with. You just need to do it, even when it hurts. Even when you haven’t done anything wrong but the other person thinks you have. Forgiveness is never easy. But forgiveness is necessary. Why? Look at how many times Jesus has forgiven you and me and not kept score. He doesn’t look at you and me and say well, remember the time when you messed up and so on. Nope, he just forgives and loves. That’s what we are commanded to do as well. Is it easy? Not at all, but it is possible with God. Trust me, I don’t have it all together and I know I have a long ways to go. I’m just reminded recently that to be Christlike can hurt and not be comfortable. But, this is how we show others who He is.