Forgoing Forgiveness

What do the words “Losing” & “Forgiveness” have in common? They are both song titles of current hits that cause me to cringe every time I hear them. Why? Are they inappropriate? Obnoxious? Sung by artists I can’t stand?

No, the truth is they are Christian songs about forgiving others. The truth is the message steps all over my toes and I don’t like it. The truth is I just don’t want to hear the truth.

Matthew 7:1-3 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

I hate conflict and typically avoid confrontation at all cost. I know this surprises many of you, but I really can’t stand discord. I go out of my way to smooth things over. I want everyone to feel safe and protected and confrontation means the opposite to me.

However, my protective nature often puts me smack in the middle of confrontation. When the going gets tough for someone else, I don’t think twice before standing between them and the incoming fiery darts. If confrontation is what it takes to protect someone, I’m there. But when it comes to protecting myself, well, that’s different. I protect myself FROM conflict, not through it.

I’ve managed to build myself a wall for protection. It keeps people out…far away. It seems to be working. I haven’t even noticed anyone trying to scale the wall.

Have you ever found yourself in a position where you need to move on, but you’re stuck? Maybe you’ve built yourself a wall too. Is there anyone scaling your wall?

What hurts more? The pain that caused us to build the wall to start with or the fact that no one has tried to scale to the wall since?

It doesn’t matter which is worse. Bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness have become the plank in the eye. It no longer matters what others have done, only how we deal with it.

Forgiveness. If God can forgive me, who am I to withhold that same forgiveness from those who have wronged me?

So, this week I’m praying on forgiveness. How do you go about actively forgiving? Do you seek out those who you need to forgive and tell them you forgive them?