Chapter 14: Forgive Everyone of Everything
Forgive Everyone of Everything
Be honest. You do not like those people. You do not want to be around them. Ever.
You see them, and you walk the other way.
Hearing their names changes your mood. Hearing their voices makes you angry. Hearing someone brag about them entices you to interrupt the dialogue and tell all the bad things you know about them—telling those stories as “prayer requests,” of course.
But why? Why are you so mad toward them? Since anger is often somehow related to wounds we hold inside, how did they hurt you? What did they do? What did they say? How long have you felt this way?
I know. It’s difficult to endure hurt.
Maybe you tried to rescue them from their addiction, but they blamed you for everything. Maybe you tried to guide them through a stormy season of their own, but they turned against you once everything seemed a little calmer. Maybe they abused you. Maybe they accused you. Maybe your mind continues hearing their harmful words replaying regularly in the station of your brain. Maybe they promised to be a friend, but they never took any steps your direction. Maybe they promised to be faithful to you, but they lied.
What now? What next?
I pray you choose to no longer be controlled by what they have done. I pray you work toward forgiving them.
I am not saying that is easy. It hasn’t been for me.
I wrote this chapter more slowly than I wrote others. I crafted a variety of ways to present this point. In each effort, I felt pain. I returned to past hurts. I could hear reruns of promises made to me that were never kept, opportunities assured to me that were never opened, comments stated to me by people I had been there to serve, blames placed on me by people who never seemed to seek the true story.
I feel wounds as I write this. They are still here. They are still real.
But they are not the only wounds around. I am not the only one finding forgiveness as something that is difficult.
Yes, I have been hurt. But I have also hurt others. Yes, I need to forgive. But I also need to be forgiven.
You? Yes, you have been hurt. Yes, you need to forgive those who harmed you. But haven’t you also hurt others? Don’t you also need forgiveness?
I think we all do. And I think we can find an Example to follow, a Guide to direct us, a Power to forgive when we can hardly push ourselves to forgive. The example of equilibrium as it relates to forgiveness? Jesus!
- How did you feel as you read the opening lines of this chapter?
- What people came to your mind?
- What have you done to forgive them?
- Where are you in the process?
- What should you do next?