"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." - Colossians 3:13, 15
Years ago I was struggling to forgive someone who had really broke my heart with something that the person did. We were coworkers, and the issue really hurt our work relationship. An issue came up at work that required us to come together and work to meet the deadline given to our team.
As we began to outline our goals and began to make priorities my coworker got extremely quiet.
I looked up from the notes I was making to discover my coworker had tears in his eyes. I realized that he was crying. He then broke the silence, "You know, I purposely hurt you."
Words began to flow, as he explained that he had heard something that now he knew wasn't true, and had reacted in a way that had really hurt our working relationship. He told me what had transpired, and that afterwards he realized what he had done. He didn't know how to "fix" what had happened, and then asked for my forgiveness.
In the gospel of Matthew we are reminded to forgive one another "seventy-seven times" (Matthew 18:22)
Forgiveness is a choice. For many of us, it is the missing pieces for a healthy life. Forgiveness holds us together through good and bad times, and it allows us to find a common place where we can begin to move forward from a situation.
For each of us, our ability to forgive, and to seek forgiveness can sometimes be difficult.
The image I try to remember is that of Christ hanging on the cross, asking, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing." (Luke 23:24)
The perfect love of Christ is the same love that we long for. We must learn in order to discover that perfect love in our daily life, we need to find ways to practice forgiveness.
Our many needs constantly interfere with our desire to be there for the other unconditionally. Our love is always limited by spoken or unspoken conditions.
Praying that the missing pieces of our lives, including the grace of understanding the importance of forgiveness, are both realized and practiced in our daily lives.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.