JESUS focused much of His teaching on the practice of forgiveness. But we could just as well say He was calling us to live responsible mature lives.
Think of those persons in your life that struggle massively with unforgiveness. Do they also seem unable to find the freedom that Christ went to the cross to give them? Do they also struggle to take their responsibility for mistakes made? Or, is it always someone else’s fault? Perhaps they find it impossible to attribute any causation to themselves. It could be that we, ourselves, resonate with these descriptions.
The thesis of this little piece is that forgiveness comes easier to people who readily take responsibility for their lives, and that those people are the mature, and free, ones.
Final frontiers of forgiveness occur when we encounter others who do not take responsibility. And, finding we cannot take all the responsibility, because relationships always feature contributions on both sides in conflicts, forgiveness is quickly thwarted where one party does not take their responsibility.
This is why we will never feel happy, safe or content in relationships with people who do not take personal responsibility for their lives. They, themselves, cannot be happy. They cannot be free. It’s as if they’re tormented. They have yet to experience the freedom that comes from being honest.
If you find yourself in an irresolvable situation with someone, where you’ve done all your apologising, and you’re still waiting on theirs, ask yourself, “Are they taking responsibility for their portion of the conflict?” Chances are they are not. Therein lies the problem.
Likewise, if you find yourself cornered by bitterness, ask, “Am I taking personal responsibility for my portion of what went wrong?” Perhaps you are not. Be sure that the double doors to forgiveness and freedom open up when we’re responsible for what we could’ve done better.