“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”
—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The ability to forgive or to hold resentments—both of these come from the heart; one that is cleansed, the other that is marked with carnality. It can be seen, therefore, that the ability to forgive is something not that dependent on our effort. There is more dependence on our will to surrender.
When we embrace the constant attitude of love beyond selfishness, we agree that forgiveness and grace are the portions with which we live our lives by.
“Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive.”
—W. Paul Young, The Shack
This is a very safe truth. When we know that, via our forgiveness, there is no implication or responsibility to trust, we can forgive without threat of contingency. This simplifies our forgiveness. We can forgive wholeheartedly when we don’t have to trust. And when we have forgiven, we open the way for the other to earn our trust back. That’s the right order of things. Forgive first; resume relational transactions later.
“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”
Forgiveness gives no matter what. Even as it is crushed under the heel it gives off a lovely aroma. Forgiveness neither harms nor is harmed. She is an utterly safe companion. Having said this, the compassion in forgiveness surprises almost everyone. The world could do with so much more of this genteel but strong quality.
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
Who in their right minds would drink poison? We know the hazards associated. Yet we drink the poison of our resentments, and we hardly even recognise the cost. How can an ingested poison harm an entity that hasn’t ingested it? Yet, this is how we treat ourselves.
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
Without a doubt, most of all, this is the chief reason we must forgive. The character of our humanity is transgression. We deceive, disparage, and defy the portents of love with generous regularity. When we consider the range of the inexcusable that we are responsible for, and we consider God’s forgiveness of all that, as well as all that is to come, we stand astonished at this copious, amazing grace.
The faith involved in forgiveness has us blessed by God’s wisdom. Every risk of sacrifice is confirmed as courageous and right in the sight of God. Letting go of negativity and resentments is the biggest task in experiencing the grace of God.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.