what I do

what I do

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Letting go

Someone wronged me recently. At first I wanted to strike back. It was a knee-jerk reaction to the hurt that someone could take advantage of me and not even care. The more I thought about it the worse I felt and I could not stop thinking about it. I thought I might settle the matter in court - and I knew I would win - but as I prepared to do so, my heart would pound and my anxiety rose. It did not feel good. I prayed that I would be able to just let it go. The answer came to me simply. Forgive.

In my life I have had ample opportunity to learn to forgive. I have had people who should have loved me the most betray me in ways that seemed unforgivable. Many, many times.
"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, now many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven." -Matthew 18:21-22
There was a time that I actually added up seventy times seven (490) and thought I was done forgiving a particular person. I was wrong. I have learned to have a spirit of forgiveness even if it means forgiving that person everyday and even beforehand sometimes. Grace. Love. More Jesus.

I have also learned that forgiveness is not just a gift that we give to others, it is a gift we give ourselves. It is not easy, and it takes time but the peace that comes when we can forgive, is the prize.

When someone wrongs us, it is so human to want to strike back. Lewis Smedes says in his book, Forgive and Forget, "When you release the wrongdoer from the wrong, you cut a malignant tumor out of your inner life. You set a prisoner free, but you discover that the real prisoner was yourself."

What I have learned the most about forgiveness, and grace, is that in order to let go of the wrongs other people cause us, we need to look at the times we have wronged others. If we do not see our own shortcomings, the places where we have not been right, it is easier to point the finger and want to see someone pay for their mistakes.

Jesus didn't just say to forgive. He said to love. Love your enemies, drop your stones. If someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.

Who do you need to forgive today? 
"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." - Jesus via Matthew 5:38-48


Nancy said...

I tried to send this to you on pinterest but am too technically challenged :)



praying you find peace about this situation :)


Lisa Mende said...

I had to do the same this week but I feel better since I let it go and forgave. it is hard but for our own health, heart and Jesus! xoxox

Unknown said...

That is beautiful Nancy! Thanks for sharing it and for your comments. I do feel total peace ... that is the best part :D
Lisa - I struggled to let it go, but once I prayed for help letting it go it was so easy. I was quickly reminded of a time when I was not so perfect and it gave me compassion and grace for their imperfection.

therelishedroost said...

It is just healthier to let it go, holding in stress and resentment leads to illness so you are doing the right thing!!!

Julie Taylor and Danni Greenwalt said...

Amen to that...