Apparently, God wanted to teach me a lesson about forgiveness this week.
First, I watched an Oprah interview with Dr. Petit, the Connecticut doctor whose wife and daughters were sexually assaulted and terrorized, then burned to death by two thugs who took the family hostage and beat the doctor nearly to death. I was brought to tears hearing him talk about how difficult it was for him to move on with his life and forgive the killers.
Then, I watched a Dr. Phil interview with the couple that started the Daystar Christian network. The husband had cheated on the wife -- a recurring theme among televangelists these days -- and the wife was talking about getting counseling and learning to forgive her husband.
Of course, the death of Elizabeth Edwards, who I think was one of the most wronged women ever, impacted me as well. Hearing about how she held hands with her ex-husband as she lay dying was quite moving considering the man cheated on her and fathered a love child as she was fighting cancer.
Then I noticed this week that Michaela sometimes will say “I sowwy (sorry)” out of the blue, when she hasn’t even done anything wrong. Either she’s practicing or she did something I don’t know about yet.
To top it all off, I had a crazy dream last night that I did something silly that offended on of my friends. I went to her to apologize, but she refused to listen and blew it all out of proportion.
I woke up this morning with forgiveness on my mind. Allow me to share some of my thoughts with you. Maybe someone else needs this lesson, too.
· You never know how hard forgiveness is until you’re the one asking for it.
· God gives us new mercy every morning (Lamentations 3:23), yet we hold a grudge against people for things they did decades ago.
· Holding a grudge is like being a pet fish. You live your life in a tank thinking you’re happy, but all around you, people are living their lives and all you can do is watch.
· Holding a grudge is like locking yourself in a jail cell and handing the offender the key.
· God tells us to forgive a person 490 times a day (Matthew 18:21-22), yet we don’t even give some people a second chance.
· When we refuse to forgive, it’s like keeping the scab from forming on a wound. The scab is ugly and itchy, but it keeps the wound from being irritated and allows it to heal.
· Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. Sometimes you need to remember how it felt to be hurt so we don’t do the same to others.