There is no denying that there are times when we fall short of other people’s expectations of us. There are times when we just don’t measure up to anything. It is like we have failed at everything we do. We sin against our brother. We make our mistakes. We try to pick up the pieces and move on, but we just can’t.
There is something holding us back. Maybe it is the lack of love. Maybe it is the lack of forgiveness. I know, I have been there. I have been there a lot. As I sit teaching a group of guys on Sunday afternoons, I know that there are times that I have not done half as well as I should have. I have failed on some level or another. I wish that I was better in a lot of ways.
I wish that there were people out there who understood some of the battles that we as people had to face. Hey! Wait a minute! They should understand them. They are making the same ones themselves. I think that this is the part that people need to remember. I think people have forgotten that we all make mistakes, and to hold someone to account for something higher than, ourselves, is wrong.
Forgiveness is the key. But how do we get there? Why do we go there? I think that there are many reasons why we go there. As we explore things over the coming weeks there are going to be some things to look at – but it is IMPORTANT to remember these words:
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
(1 Peter 4:8)
We must move forward, with love, or we cannot learn to forgive. I think that we will only truly forgive if we truly love. These two things go hand in hand. You will not see one without the other. True love and true forgiveness. They are truly inseparable. They are something that we have to look toward as we move forward.
So often we think that we must hold other people accountable of their actions, but is that really our job? No, our job is to simply love our brother, and to forgive them. We need not look farther than Jesus’ own teaching to find where he tells us to turn the other cheek.
It is lessons like this–lessons that teach us that striking back is not always the answer. That sometimes we must step back and say, okay, I am going to forgive you. I am just going to simply let this go. It is not necessarily an easy process, but it is a process that is necessary. We must do the things that we are required to do. Things like forgiving our neighbor.
I am not sure where the idea of forgive and forget came from, but I am sure that it came from a good idea. The idea that we are to hod of no account anymore, this is something that is of great value to one another. Does this mean that we do not correct one another? No, we still must reach out in love and correct one another, but we must not do it in anger. We must not do it in a spirit of revenge. We must have a good reason and a solid footing for correcting the other.
I think that this is why we so often need to forgive and forget. Just move on. I know that it sounds so simple, but we actually hold onto so very much. We take it in and internalize so much stuff. We cannot do this. We have to forgive.
I think the biggest one that we have to forgive sometimes is ourselves. This is a hard thing to do. We say “oh, you are forgiven,” to the people in our lives, but we have a hard time saying that we are forgiven ourselves. We just don’t like to say it. We don’t like to do it. It seems silly, but There are a lot of people who just don’t seem to want to forgive themselves for anything. They hold themselves up to a high standard of perfectionism and then when they fail they hold it against themselves something awful.
Love, and self love is included here, is something that we must do and have, before we can begin to truly forgive someone.
There is much more to come on forgiveness in my next blog…