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Learning to Forgive: Ephesians 4:32
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 NIV
Christ calls us to forgive. Not so easy sometimes. What is the hallmark sign we find within that signifies an unwillingness to forgive? To me, it has been the inability to let go. A harboring of chronic ill will over something that has happened in the past. It keeps entering your mind, coupled with anger. Even after years in the toughest cases. The signature of an unforgiving spirit, it will not go away.
It can tear apart and breakdown, mess up relationships and families.
My family is of Sicilian/Irish descent, quite a mix. Made for a very animated and eventful environment. Lots of emotion, lots of passion, and at times an unyielding stubbornness.
What I witnessed and participated in, a paradox of sorts which I now realize was truly unique. We could yell, scream, fight then forgive an hour later. My brothers and I had MMA in full effect long before it ever showed up on pay per view. In one instance, a particularly brutal encounter landed me in the hospital. My brother, also the opponent who put me there, came by my room for a visit. First thing out of his mouth was an apology. I didn’t even hesitate, just let him know it was not a problem. So we moved forward from there, no hard feelings until the next time someone’s nose got bent out of shape in it was on again. One second we were going at it, and a few minutes later it was OK.
Same way with anyone else in my family. If I was behaving badly, I’d feel bad and go to my Mom to say I was sorry. She always forgave me.
That pattern did not always work out, as I would later encounter situations where forgiveness did not come so easy. Had a dispute with a guy at work, got over it in my mind and went about business as usual. What I came to realize, he would not forget. Could not come to terms and move on. Probably still mad at me to this day.
One thing about Jesus, He was all about forgiveness. And He would have it that we be as well .
Everybody is mad at somebody over something. We should try to forgive; and if it is hanging on to us and won’t let go, we can ask Him to help us be and do what we cannot in and of ourselves. We can thank Him for forgiving us and ask for help in doing the same.