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Monday, April 6, 2015

Forgiveness When Assaulted By ‘Family’

“THEY are treating you like family,” the wife said to her jaded husband, a little sick of being taken for granted by his supervisor and manager at work.
And, the fact of the matter, is his wife was never more right. There is a cost to be borne for becoming part of a team (a family) — everyone who is part of a collective will, occasionally, be taken for granted.
Is it right or even appropriate to be taken for granted? Well, of course it isn’t.
But the fact will still remain; our associations carry us into the realm of relations with other fallen persons. None of us is perfect. Add the allowance we all make for a ‘special’ familial relationship — being bound together by agreement, blood, or contract — and we do take the ones we are bound to for granted. Especially if we can, by power or by role or by ‘need’.
They are treating us as if we were family when they take us for granted, become intolerant, and even nasty. And given the fact that many families have inherent dysfunctions, we can see that the inappropriate treatment we bear may simply be more of a reflection that we are considered family.
***
Where does this leave us if we are depressively disenchanted by our treatment?
How are we to forgive those who seem to oppress us?
Consider it a great privilege that we are being treated as family — as those who are loved that much that they are very real around us. Is there a more viable way? We can’t think of one. So, we must make room for something unconventional.
If, by forgiving the nastiness pressed our way, we are able to get through what we cannot otherwise change, we have masterminded and implemented a gospel wisdom.
James says, “Consider it pure joy when you pressed in with so many varietals of trial.” Or Jesus, “Take heart, for I have overcome the world.” Paul also commends us to “feed our enemies when they’re hungry,” and “give them something to drink when they’re thirsty.”
These, and many more, Scripture passages call us to transcend the anger that boils within. Only when we trust God in the moment and disdain our own needs are we able to give God room to show us the power in a momentary forgiveness.
We will never know the power of grace in forgiveness until we actually sacrifice our own needs so God can meet them at a higher level.
When we give our needs to God by refusing to insist on them, God honours our trust to forgive, meeting our needs in ways they could otherwise never be met.
Forgive today, forget tomorrow.
Forget tomorrow, freedom today.
Forgive today, understand tomorrow.
Forget tomorrow, heal today.
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.

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