Forgiving

Four or five years ago I had a really bad experience with a woman in a local business. I made a flippant comment which she took as a personal affront. When I apologized and tried to explain my comment, she got really nasty and definitely put me in my place. When I left that day I told The Furry Guy that he was going to have to deal with her from that moment forward. He told me that she often treated him badly, too. She was only one person in a business that did really good work at reasonable prices, so we weren’t going to stop doing business there. I just had no desire to face her again.

I realized fairly soon that her reaction probably had little to do with me. I forgave her long ago. Still, I managed to avoid actually going into that business until yesterday. I knew that I had to go in, so on the way I had a little conversation with the Lord. I confessed that, while I had forgiven her, I still dreaded another confrontation with her. I asked Him to help me set aside the memory of that encounter and any residual ill feelings. I asked Him to please keep me from doing or saying anything that would hurt or offend her.

I’m pleased to report that the encounter was entirely pleasant.

It’s amazing how much forgiving someone can help. If I’d gone in there with a chip on my shoulder chances are good that the outcome would have been completely different.

Years ago someone was talking to me about forgiveness. It was his opinion that unless someone apologized for their behavior and was truly contrite you would be an idiot to forgive them. They didn’t deserve it. He couldn’t be more wrong. Forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person. It’s all about not allowing that person’s actions to take up residence in my heart and mind. Sometimes it’s necessary for me to choose forgiveness over and over until it sticks. It’s worth the effort.

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3 Responses to Forgiving

  1. Shawnna says:

    This is so true. Forgiveness is a choice…one that is required by our Lord and Saviour. If we don’t forgive, He won’t forgive…I love the parable of the servant and master. Someone told me once that you couldn’t forgive someone unless they asked you to forgive them…this is so not true. Unforgiveness will sit in your heart and can literally destroy you. It steals your joy. You have to make a choice to forgive…sometimes its really hard, but the Lord will help you if you ask Him.

    • mommabates says:

      You’re so right, Shawnna. Truly forgiving someone who has deeply hurt you is only possible through the Lord.

      I’ve heard that harboring unforgiveness toward someone is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die. We have such a skewed view of forgiveness. It has nothing at all to do with the other person. It’s all about me and my heart.

  2. Savannah says:

    Awesome blog!

    I thought about starting my own blog too but I’m just too lazy so, I guess Ill just have to keep checking yours out.
    LOL,

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