I continue to be led to think about forgiveness. My thoughts this morning are that forgiveness is grace: unmerited favor. Often, when I feel that someone has wronged me, I focus on trying to understand the why of it – I go over and over it in my mind, twisting and turning it, trying to see it (as I was taught to do) from their point of view. Too often, those efforts just intensify the hurt for me, lead me into lengthy internal “dialogues” with the person who hurt me – dialogues that I always “win.” None of that leads easily to forgiveness.
This morning I have been thinking about Jesus’ interaction with the woman caught in adultery. He was not interested in her reasons, justifications, mitigating circumstances. He forgave her and asked her to do better in the future.
I am a long way from that but this morning I am thinking that forgiveness is not about understanding or excusing, but about willingness to continue to love the offender and to believe that the future can be better. Faith, hope, love and grace are needed to forgive – a tall order.
P.S. I also posted this on a closed Facebook group that I belong to. One of the women in the group took the time to write a long comment that ended with this:
“Forgiveness is more a gift to yourself (via God’s grace), a firm decision not to let the harm caused by the other stop you from being free.”
I want to print this large and frame it, keep it before me always.