"Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else."
- 1 Thessalonians 5: 15
When I was in high school I played the role of the Rabbi in "Fiddler on the Roof." In the musical, the lead, at one point talks about getting even with those who have done him and others wrong. The saying, "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" is brought up. His response, "the whole world would be blind and toothless."
Forgiveness is something that we must learn. It's not something, in my experience, that comes easy.
Our ability to seek and provide forgiveness remains a signature of our faith. Jesus spent a lot of time talking about and providing forgiveness.
At one point during his ministry he asks, "which is easier? To say your sins are forgiven, stand up and walk?"
Forgiveness gives us and others the ability to stand up, or to start again from the place that we find ourselves. It is a new beginning. The harder part, sometimes, is for those who have been forgiven to actually take those first steps because others often remind the person of what has been forgiven.
It's a challenging situation.
Forgiveness means exactly that. It means to give the person the opportunity to stand and move on.
Hoping that we all may learn to forgive ourselves, one another, and to be bold enough to stand and start new.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.