Just Do It, or At Least Try...

“Life is an adventure in forgiveness.” Norman Cousins

“Grandy, can you ever forgive me?” Those were the words of my 3½ year old granddaughter recently, as she handed me the toy she had accidently broken. Without hardly thinking, I responded, “Of course honey, it was an accident, don’t worry.” Wouldn’t it be great, if all things were so easily forgiven? What might my response have been if I saw her intentionally break it?

It seems to me that we constantly hear about forgiveness. As Christians, it is an important aspect of our belief system. We read and watch stories about forgiveness between families of victims of horrible crimes and their offenders. Often times we sit back and wonder if we could be that forgiving, if we were in the same circumstance. We hear from the gurus of psychology and self-help that to forgive something or someone helps the forgiver more than, or at least as much as, the forgiven.

We also hear that it is often harder to forgive ourselves than to forgive others. I can vouch for that one. I once attended a 3-part seminar on the topic of forgiveness. When I brought up the question of self-forgiveness, the leader offered up little perspective and I left feeling no better than at the beginning. Call a therapist, seemed to be the message I got. Not that there's anything wrong with that message!

Webster (you all know I love my dictionary) gives the meaning of forgive as- to give up resentment against or the desire to punish; stop being angry with; pardon. It seems so simple…give it up! stop! Or as the Nike folks are always saying, just do it!

I was recently back in my hometown for my uncle’s funeral. While he was a kind and loving man, he made some choices in his life that weren’t what the casual observer would say were in the best interest of his general health and wellbeing. I witnessed his two grown daughters go through the visitation, funeral service and the following day’s activities of taking care of his business. Their attitudes seemed to be strictly guided by love and forgiveness. Love for the parts of their dad that they knew were humble and good and forgiveness for his decisions and actions that could have easily led them to a state of rejection and resentment. It seems we learn the most about something when we see it in action.

We often hear that the holidays are difficult for many who have strained family relationships. Why can’t we remember that as humans, we are all flawed? We all do things that are disappointing or hurtful to others, often times to those we love the most. Whether these things are accidental or on purpose, the results are the same…someone is hurt, they feel wronged.

I urge you to start the journey of forgiveness.  Now is as good a time as any. And remember, though your journey may be intensely personal, you are not alone.

…”And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25

Andrea Heshmati

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Nycolle wrote:
shelbyMarch 12, 2009hellocaring for a falimy who has been effected by cancerthe relatives of my own dont understand and have become resentful of the care provided for an ex-husbands falimyhow to help to forgive myself of the neglect of my own falimy while caring for an ex-hsuband-who is depressedthe children we are raising keeps us bindedthe relatives of myown have almost disowned me in the attempt to encourage them to care for one anotherin my absenceyikes-help-forgiveness now!

Tue, July 10, 2012 @ 3:24 PM

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