My wonderful cousin has been posting selections from her daily Bible reading as bulletins on myspace. This was her offering today. It really struck a chord in my spirit…
Colossians 3:12-15 (New Living Translation)
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
If you are one of my good friends, you know how I have been struggling, for quite some time now, with forgiveness. I think it’s something that as humans, we all struggle with. Why should I forgive someone who hurt me? Especially when it was intentional, or malicious. Especially if it’s someone who is supposed to care for me, or especially if it is someone who doesn’t know me at all. These verses though, they sum it all up so simply. We must forgive, because we are forgiven, we must love and live in peace, no matter how they have hurt us. We must also be thankful, even for those hurts, those things and people who crushed us, so bad. Those things are what made us who we are. The things I have gone through, the things that my family will struggle with going forward with B’s disorder, I need to be thankful for it. Even though it seems horrible, and painful. It is making us grow closer and closer to God day by day. I am having to learn to rely on His mercy, healing, love and forgiveness to hold me up. Each morning as I wake up, I need to stop thinking of all the bad things, and focus instead on what is good. Letting go of the past. I cannot change it.
So, that said, I forgive you. You know who you are, and you know what you have done. I forgive you for the pain you brought me. I forgive you for not loving me how God wanted me to be loved. I forgive you for so much. I let go of injustices, whether real or perceived. I am letting go of anger and desire for justice. I give it to God, and will let Him deal with it. I think I am probably going to have to say this daily for a while, but that’s ok too. I am human, and I need to remember that as well. I strive to be like Christ, but I cannot be Him. I will let go daily of my despair and hurt. I will daily give it over to my Lord and let Him take care of it for me.
One last thing, if I have caused you pain, I ask that you forgive me also. Remembering that we are all human, and all make mistakes.