Doing forgiveness is more difficult than talking about it. Full stop.
And yet, it’s one of the only cause and affect activities Jesus talks about, based on Matt 6:14. This is where Jesus says that if we forgive others, our Heavenly Father will forgive us. And Lord knows that I needs heaps of forgiveness! I suspect you might need alot of forgiveness as well 🙂
So what does it look like when we don’t forgive? Here are a few things for your consideration. When we don’t forgive, we:
nurse and rehearse the offense / wound in our thoughts & other people who will sympathize with our pain
look for opportunities to lash out or pay back the hurt
refuse to let the person “off the hook” or recognize and accept God’s grace for them
At the same time, when we forgive it doesn’t mean that we:
position ourself to get repeatedly hurt
excuse, dismiss or ignore the hurtful behavior
continually bring up the offense with the person who was hurtful
Even though forgiveness can be tricky, we need to be forgiving people and we need to keep our forgiveness fresh!
Do you have mindless habits? All of us have things that we do without giving much thought to them, such as brushing our teeth, driving home, morning routines, etc. It can be really helpful to have these kind of routines, but sometimes they’re counterproductive.
For example, in Luke 10, Martha & Mary had Jesus come to their house for dinner. Based on Martha’s behavior in other stories in the Gospels, it seems like she fell into the routine of cooking, serving & being busy with getting stuff done. All of these things aren’t inherently wicked, but if we allow our routines to sabotage our fellowship with Jesus, then they become more of a hindrance than a help.
Let’s always remember that Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 to seek His kingdom first & we’ll have what we need! Let’s be sure our routines reinforce our intimacy with Jesus rather than distract us in mindless disconnect 🙂