I'm tired. I've been up since about half past four in the morning yesterday, and I would like to go to sleep, but I can't yet. There are times when I lay in bed and I fall right asleep and then there are times like this, where I have the suspicion that God isn't ready to let me. There are times when I've got to process out what I think he's impressed upon me and he wont let me sleep until I do.
There is a few lines from one of my favorite songs by Don Henley where he says
"I've been tryin' to get down
To the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness"
That is pretty much exactly how I'd surmise this post. I've been trying to get down to what I think God would have me write about this month, and I wrote about the 1st commandment of not having any other gods before him... but I didn't get the notion of completion that I usually do when I know I've worked through a post. My will gets God adjacent instead of inline with God some times and my thoughts are many.
But this post is about forgiveness.
I have found it surprisingly easy to forgive people that have committed great sins against me when they admit that they've wronged me. Often my joy at reconciliation eclipses everything else and I am pleased that there would be peace in a relationship again. This is the easier side, when both parties want peace and can own the faults of ones own.
The part that God has shown me that I struggle with is forgiveness when the other party hasn't sought it. I'm talking when they know they've wronged you because you probably let them know is some kind of loud and clear way. When I screw up, I'm pretty quick to own and apologize for my mistakes, out bursts and creative vocalizations of pain. ( My family can tell you that I'm pretty funny when I'm angry once you get past the brutal barbs that I can throw out, that I try and work hard to not get to the point where I get angry about a thing) I'm pretty quick to own my blame and my guilt and seek forgiveness. I know I can say ugly things to people I care about when I'm raw and vulnerable. I'm rarely ever vulnerable for that reason actually, and that well, that is a whole spiral of other things.
Grace is something that I do my best to apply to people who hurt me out of ignorance. I can even extend that out to things said in anger with the intent to inflict a jab. I have a hard time extending forgiveness to those who show malice, or spite or hatred.
I might be contradicting. Its nearly 3am and I don't know if this is supposed to be about how we need to forgive people even when they haven't asked for it, or a confession on how I struggle with forgiveness in both giving it and receiving it. When I've wronged someone that I love, I don't think I ever really forget it. There is this awareness that I care so much about a person, but something gross in me inflicted them. The awareness is something... learning is healthy, guilt is not maybe. At what point can I forgive myself for hurting people that I care about with some truth too harsh to be spoken.
" “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”- Luke 7
I hold a grudge in some cases. I usually try what ever I can to be at peace with people... but others... the offend my ... well, pride probably. I was going to say my sense of justice, but it's probably pride.
Am I loving them right? I doubt it.
Not long ago I had a falling out with a family of friends and I was justified and right to walk away from a fountain of weirdness that sprung up... and that's what I did. As I was going on of the brothers in this family was grieved because he didn't do anything wrong, but I just needed some distance from the lot. I think that's one thing keeping me up tonight. There are people in that family that I should probably forgive. It's who I should be.
A person forgiven much loves much. I know that I don't want to be a person that harbors forgiveness. I'm Italian for crying out loud, Hospitality and family are serious issues for me.
If my Savior can cry out to God as he was crucified in a plea begging Him to forgive us...
What right do I have to not forgive?
I'm working on that, along with everything else. I'm rough around the edges I know.
Forgive like HE forgave.
Like HE forgives.