“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as God forgave you.” Col 3:13
“Are you kidding me? There is no way I’m going to forgive her, not after what she did! She doesn’t care about me. She only cares about herself. She’s so selfish and self-absorbed. She doesn’t think about anyone else!” Grumbling, I slammed the car door, revved the engine, and pulled out of the driveway.
I’d been down this street before, and I knew where I was going. Turmoil, exit 5. Frustration, 2 miles ahead. Anger, next right. Hurting, straight ahead. But even knowing what lie ahead, I drove on.
Have you ever been on this road? My guess is you have. In fact, maybe you’ve been down this road so many times, you know all the shortcuts – you bypass all the exits and stops, and race full speed ahead. You drive on – overanalyzing the situation, digging, searching and finding every piece of evidence that convinces yourself you were right and they were wrong. You grip the steering wheel tighter, refusing to relinquish any forgiveness to someone so undeserving.
“Why should I always have to be the one to ‘give in’? It’s not fair!”
Please tell me I’m not the only one driving down this highway of resentment. It’s such a difficult road to travel; I’d hate to think I’m alone. I mean, what is it that drives us to un-forgiveness? What pushes us on into this blurry rush of madness? And why does it take so much energy to keep the wheel straight – towards the hurting? It’s almost as if we want to naturally pull off this deadly road.
Maybe we are pulled to forgive because somewhere in our soul we know it’s what God is asking of us. “Forgive as I have forgiven you.” When we resist forgiving others, we are really resisting obedience to God. We fall victim to the enemy and the trap he’s set before us. Instead, we drive on, furiously, by-passing any exit or chance of a u-turn and exhausting ourselves in the process.
But what if instead, we decide to not get on that road of un-forgiveness? What if instead of taking the right turn towards anger and the road of hurt, we took the correct turn?
I pondered this idea for a while, loosening my grip on the wheel. I checked my speed…83 mph. I glanced up in my rearview mirror to see how far I’d gone. It’s a miracle I didn’t hit anyone else in my manic rage. I knew it was time to turn around, and to make things right. I slowed down, and signaled my exit. Even if I didn’t start off on the right road, it didn’t mean I couldn’t find my way back. And that’s where I needed to go. Back to forgiveness, back to God, and the grace He bestowed unto me.
Thank you for your forgiveness. Please help me to forgive others, especially when it’s not easy. When I can’t find it in my own heart, can you please love them for me? Thank you for your grace; please help me to share that with others.
In Your Name,