Monday, April 9, 2012

Fake forgivers

Forgiveness. It's a verb. That means it isn't just a word you say or a term you's something you do. You have to actively follow through with an action to truly forgive. And it isn't easy. But it is doable. Sadly most people know how to say the word but few know how to do the word.
When someone does or says something to us and our reaction is one of pain, anguish, resentment or anger we instantly set up a wall around ourselves regarding that person. Many times we will allow them to maintain a place in our lives but with less true access as before. Often times we instinctively greet that person's presence with an involuntary reaction of coldness and with expectation of repeating the offenses against us. We believe that this person hurt us and will do so again if we don't somehow protect ourselves from another instance. If the offender is anyone other than a cherished love one this is usually the new protocol for our relationship with them. We associate with them but never really allow ourselves to progress any further into the relationship and NEVER allow that shield to drop. If however the offender is a spouse, parent, child or other intimate person who is a part of our very being the stakes are higher.
Usually when someone we truly love hurts us we carry that in a much more intense and open wound. The hurt is different because it often involves other emotions : betrayal, mistrust, etc. Eventually the offender will (at least we hope) seek us out and request something of us. Forgiveness. They will ask for it and expect or at least hope that we harbor enough love for them to grant it and move forward. And many if not most times we very generously oblige. Or do we?
Webster's defines forgiveness as giving up resentment of or claim of requital for an offense; granting relief's a verb. You do it. You don't say it. But most of us simply say it. We don't do it. We are fake forgivers.
Think about many times in the last year of your life has someone said or done something that upset you? In those instances how many times did they ask you to forgive them or offer an apology? And how many times did you in turn "grant" that forgiveness? You hear yourself say the words....."I forgive you." But do you FEEL yourself actually RELIEVING them?? Do you offer true and honest forgiveness or do you cling to the convenient cliche we humans have determined to be part of the deal? " I forgive you but I won't forget".
Can you imagine if God lived by that creed? More importantly what's the point of forgiving if you aren't forgetting? If God, our Supreme Father and King of Kings can and does grant us full and absolute forgiveness for our most heinous offenses upon Him and each other (and He does) then who are we to think our way is better or right? When we go to Him and lay our transgressions at His feet and ask Him to seek our heart of hearts and see our remorse He not only forgives us....He wipes the slate clean. He forgets so fully it's as if our offense NEVER took place. How beautiful is that?
But not us. We don't forgive. We say we do. We claim we have. But we instead carry that offense with us every day. We allow it to taint our relationships with those we profess to love and we throw it in their faces when it seems convenient. "Well, if you hadn't..... or Yes, but remember when you.......". We are fake forgivers. And I for one shudder to think of the consequences in my own eternity if God were a fake forgiver.