THIS is not about saying forgiveness is impossible, but it is a concession that forgiveness depends on many factors.
Times of the year, seasons in all our lives, situations of fortune and misfortune, all provide either impetus or constraints on forgiveness.
Some situations a miraculous level of grace is gifted to us, and we forgive reminiscent of God’s forgiving us in Christ. The world simply cannot understand what only God could achieve through us.
Other situations, even what seems petty is difficult to forgive. Such a confounding of an otherwise merciful heart is designed to humble us. The Lord invites us to be curious in discovering why. He helps us understand that forgiveness is always a miracle of grace so that nobody can boast.
Forgiveness is at essence about acceptance. Only the heart can truly accept, for what the mind thinks, and the body does, in sustained ways, is always generated from the heart. Forgiveness comes from the heart of acceptance.
But this article is not centrally about how elusive forgiveness is for us to do. It is more about the elusiveness of others’ forgiving us.
People don’t forgive us because they think they must let us off the hook. In other words, the issue is trust. Their views of us have become fixed in what we did wrong. All associations they have of us tend to be framed by this newer negative view, which eclipses what could otherwise be an unblemished record.
However unfortunate this is, we must accept it as it is. It does us no good to continue to regret what we did and/or how they saw how we performed. Perhaps we have burned our bridges. Maybe there is no turning back. What they are giving us, however, are fresh opportunities to nurture relationships with others.
Many times, God has not yet gifted the party who cannot forgive us with the grace to do so. It’s between them and God. That’s where we leave it, always as we hold them aloft before God, in our kindness. We only complicate matters when we’re anxious to be forgiven.
Don’t doubt that if they could see why we should be forgiven they would forgive us.
Sometimes (i.e. not always or even most of the time) people’s circumstances change in such a way as new opportunities at reconciliation become possible.
In the meantime, our quest is to remain faithful, so space is held open for grace to enter.
Sometimes the easier way to forgive someone is to see why we need their forgiveness.