I’m not going to lie. My posts haven’t been that great recently. If you’ve been reading along, you might have noticed that they don’t…. sparkle. They don’t shine. And I was thinking about what might be causing that. And I decided that they’re either too personal and not deep enough, or I’m just piggybacking off of topics that I spoke about earlier that did sparkle. So, I said to myself, what haven’t I talked about that is deep enough that it might sparkle? (p.s. I hope this works)
My answer was forgiveness. Forgiveness is one of those things that is so beautiful because it’s so hard to do. It is not in human nature to forgive. It is far easier to hold a grudge and blame someone else for our problems, especially when they deserve it. Now, sometimes, it seems silly for people to be unforgiving. But for the loved ones of someone who was hit by a drunk driver or for the girl who was raped, society would say it’s crazy NOT to be unforgiving. To be forgiving of such horrible crimes is to be okay with it and almost welcome it. Forgiveness is seen as a foolish act that only the most idealistic of dreamers can believe in. Maybe it happens in stories, but not in real life.
But what people don’t see is how unforgiveness turns into a shackle, chaining you to the past and all that pain. It’s not something that people notice, but the past keeps haunting you, and there’s no way to be truly happy. It just eats away at your heart, and you lose hope. You can never look the same way at the person who hurt you, even if they’ve changed or are truly repentant.
But forgiveness. True, precious forgiveness. It changes everything, and just knowing that you’ve forgiven someone is so beautiful. There’s a line in a song by Matthew West (the song is called Forgiveness; funny coincidence, huh?) that goes like this: “So let it go and be amazed by what you see through eyes of grace; the prisoner that it really frees is you.” And that really is the best way to describe it. Where before, bitterness was a prison, forgiveness is liberation.
It’s hard. So hard to forgive people. Especially when it feels like they’re never going to say sorry and when it feels like they really don’t deserve anything good. At least not from you. And when it comes to forgiveness, it oftentimes doesn’t feel right. It feels crazy and weird.
But people are people. We fail so many times. If everybody held a grudge, we wouldn’t have any friends in this world. And sometimes, it’s just enough to look from the other perspective. To realize that maybe you’re not the only one who’s hurting; maybe they’re hurting, too. For another reason, maybe, but just to realize that can make all the difference. Forgiveness works when you’re able to look past the mistakes and see the person inside. We don’t have to be defined by our sinful, failing nature. We can be so much more. And accepting that for someone else makes that true in our lives, too.