“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.” Robert Muller
I teared up when I stumbled onto Robert Muller’s perfect quote for my imperfect blog post. I’m a pretty good forgiver, but so high strung about anything emotional (like forgiveness) that I overtalk it. By the time you’re forgiven, you probably wish I’d never speak to you again.
As messy as it is, when I arrive at the destination of forgiveness, it’s just as beautiful as Muller said, full of peace and happiness. Writing the past three days about it helped me realize how much I’ve learned and changed since I’ve become intentional about forgiving.
Here are three lessons that come to mind. I’ll write another post if I think of more, and I probably will. Did I mention I sometimes overtalk a topic?
Here you go for now …
It’s a bad idea to base our forgiveness on an apology that someone else may never give.
Jesus said forgive. I want His directive to overrule any defense I have for my unforgiveness. Period.
There’s a better chance of getting an “I’m sorry” when we’re not waiting for it.
Until I turned the corner and saw my friend in the checkout line, I’d forgotten about her confronting me concerning a family situation she knew very little about. Thankfully I was too stunned the evening of the confrontation to defend myself, blame anyone, or get snarky back. She walked away from our table and we didn’t see each other for another 10 years. By then, she had some dealings with my family and knew better, and when we know better, we do better.
We talked in the parking lot for nearly an hour. I received an apology I never expected, and she asked me to write again on my blog. She noticed I’d only posted two or three times during 2015. I had no idea she read my posts, much less passed them along to her friend who struggled with depression.
That afternoon, forgiveness shone especially beautiful.
It’s okay, and sometimes necessary, to stay away from a relationship.
My pastor said, “The amount of space you leave between you and other people depends on how much space you need to be able to love them.” For some people, it takes a lot of space.
Lysa TerKeurst, in her book Forgiving What You Can’t Forget, said, “Never confuse redemption with reunion. Reunion, or reconciliation, requires two people who are willing to do the hard work to come back together. Redemption is just between you and God.”
“God can redeem your life even if damaged human relationships don’t come back together. And you and I can forgive even if the relationship never gets restored.”
When we forgive, we’re doing what Kirk Cameron talks about around the American Campfire Revival – we’re heavenizing the earth. By forgiving (with Jesus’ help, of course), we do our part to bring heaven to earth.
In This Together,