Thursday, June 28, 2007

Forgiveness: Did He Really Have to Make it a Math Problem?

Jesus tells us in the Gospel that we are to forgive Seventy times Seven times.

I always hated math.

The truth of this scripture passage has nothing whatsoever to do with numbers though, it has to do with our being willing to be forgiving as God forgives.

This is a recurring theme in scripture, and one that I keep being reminded of, because I tend to hold on to unforgiveness.

My friend Suzanne and I were deep into a session of venting yesterday afternoon. I thought it was actually good for me to get out how much hurt I had felt for years by a particular person, and then I was relating a new hurt that my daughter had suffered by the inattention of someone who was supposed to have her best interest at heart, but didn't really seem to care.

At the time it felt like righteous indignation, and I felt justified in my feelings, but as I thought about it more that evening, and apparently Suzanne was thinking about the same thing, I came to the conclusion that my holding on to feelings of unforgiveness are only hurting me, and in the face of what I have asked God to forgive me for, how can I not forgive those who have wronged me?

In fact when Jesus teaches about the Lord's Prayer the only thing he clarifies is that the extent by which we are able to forgive is the extent by which God will be able to forgive us.

I have a lot of work to do on that score. Thanks Suzanne for reminding me that forgiveness is for me, not for the one who has wronged me.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

To be honest, I let a bit more ranting out...not nearly as much, however, I did. Just now after reading your post (which is excellent, by the way)I think Jesus is reminding me that the problem comes back down to if I have a complaint, it is because of mostly that the misuse of pride has gotten out of hand, but if I get too high on my horse, then I am guilty of the same just a different way...well, that is how I look at it anyway. If I get upset and then pray or confess my frustration, then I win and the wrong never gets to grow into me.
Maybe when I am feeling hurt about something if I could allow myself to use a visual of the evil creeping into me and then try to immediately imagine myself placing up a barrier as I quietly say "Jesus, have mercy," then I cannot be harmed by the arrow that seems to be flying my in the song. Otherwise, Satan gets alot of belly laughs and I am sure he was hardy har haring the other day.
Well, life goes on and God has plenty for us to do with the gifts and talents He has given us and if we can only see and believe that in our hearts, then nothing will hurt.
Sometimes, I almost think I like to hurt myself...does that makes sense? Lord, how wrong is that!
We don't need the approval of everyone in this world and we'll never get it anyway, so I just need to get over that idea (even though I didn't realize that I somehow was looking for that) whatever He has for me do must be okay, because I am praying to follow that. I know you are also. Hugs and prayers, both.
Oh and the good thing to remember on the other part, was that no matter how it happened, because you leapt out in Faith and prayed with St. Anthony, the truth came out and the lost item was found...who had who on whose side? Bingo! :)