Friday, July 8, 2011
When we Wait to Forgive
Have you ever noticed how most of us wait to forgive each other? What I mean by that is, well, actually it’s a couple of things. First of all, we tend not to forgive, until that other person asks for forgiveness. Then, even when they ask us to forgive them, we’re not in much of a hurry to do so.
What we’re really doing when we’re like that is that we’re trying to make them pay for whatever indiscretion they’ve done that offended us. We want them to grovel a little and beg our forgiveness, so that they know that they’ve been wrong. Not only that, but they show us that they know how wrong they’ve been and that we are so valuable, that they can’t afford to lose our love and friendship.
What a bunch of hogwash! I have to say, when we act like that, we are acting in pride. Not only are we acting in pride, but the only love we are demonstrating is love for self. There’s no love for the other person in making them grovel before us.
While I’m on my soapbox, let me say that it isn’t that other person’s fault that they’ve offended you. Let me put it this way, if I throw a bucket of water on you, and you get mad, you might say, “You made me wet and you made me mad.” But the truth is, I just made you wet, you decided to get mad all on your own. In fact, in other circumstances, you might not choose to get mad at the same act, but to laugh instead.
So, if it’s not the other person’s fault, when they offend you, whose fault is it? That’s simple, it’s yours. You choose whether you allow something to offend you or not. In fact, many times, you have to misunderstand what the other person is saying, in order to get offended. Then you have to decide that what they said or did was intentionally done to be against you; whether it was or not. Like I said, it’s all pride.
If we are going to truly act in love, then we are going to work to avoid being offended, instead of working to seek out offense in what others say. If we do start to feel a little offense, we’re not going to nurse it; we’re going to be quick to forgive, dispelling the offense, before it has a chance to grow
Being romantic, without displaying the heart attitude of selfless love, really isn’t worth much. It becomes a way of seeking to make up for wrong actions and attitudes, instead of a way to demonstrate and build the relationship in a marriage. Start where it mattes, with the things of your heart. Then you’ll be ready to minister to her heart so much more.