Pastor’s message yesterday was all about forgiveness – well, not so much about the thing ‘forgiveness,’ rather it was a Biblical plea for us to forgive those who have hurt us in some way. It was a recurring message not only in churches, but anywhere the New Year is being welcomed. Forgiving could be the #1 Resolution every year since the calendar began rolling over.
Forgiving someone is often preceded by an apology, which is then followed by “I forgive you.” But what do we do when there’s no apology? How long can the “I forgive you” hang in the air awaiting its antecedent “I’m sorry” that may never come?
We’ve been told “Get over it,” or “Don’t hang on to the past,” or “Forgive and forget.” All well-meaning platitudes that we offer even when it’s not solicited, but something of a tool we might use to stop someone from whining about a slight or offense they’ve suffered and we’re tiring of listening to their story.
As a Christian I’m not supposed to quibble over forgiving vs not forgiving; it’s a mandate we’ve been given by our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s a pretty hard-and-fast rule, and leaves little room for disagreement. We’re supposed to forgive our brother/sister not just once, not just seven times, but seven times seventy times. Where’s the room for argument there?
But, you say, what do I do when I-the-injured-party attempt to forgive the Injuring-party and find they don’t feel they need forgiveness?
“It wasn’t ME!”
“It was YOU!”
A true battle of the Who-Dunn-Its. Game over. Why bother? Nobody cares, anyway.
Except that I believe that God cares. I believe He cares about me and my ability move on, to grow up, to put others first … even when they might not deserve it…
…because that’s what He does.