“If you forgive men their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” Matthew 4:14-15
Forgiveness. Such a small word, yet it is so powerful. The entire world has such a hard time with the concept of forgiveness. There have been many wars that have been waged on this Earth because of the simple fact that we can not forgive our fellow man’s transgressions. It takes a big person to ask for someone to forgive them, it takes and even bigger person to forgive that person, or group of people.
I have had many people actually hurt me in my life. My father would be one of those individuals. To be honest, I know it was not his intentions, but he had an affliction that hurts. I am talking about alcoholism. I am not going to lie, for years now, I have been carrying the weight of his actions on me. I know rationally, that doesn’t make sense, but I have just been angry, upset, and confused. The reasons why he could not get his life together were multiple, but at the end of the day, none of that was my fault. However, for years, I have carried about this notion that if I could have only known a little more, or been a little more this, or that, then maybe things wouldn’t happen like they did. And that made me angry. I was trying, but he was not, and why? Was I not good enough? Yes, it was not the way I should be looking at things, but you know, a Father is supposed to be the head of the house, the strong one, the provider. We did get by, but he house was always in turmoil. You never knew who was going to show up. Was it going to be a peaceful dinner, or was something going to break? Living life that way is not right, but it is what happened. Even so, I have just now come to terms with all of this, and I can finally say, I forgive him. I will never be able to forget, but I can forgive him. I may never know that struggle he has, but mine with depression has taught me to try to be a little more understanding. He was coping in his own way, just as I cope in mine. It doesn’t erase the pain, but it does help lift the anger off of my spirit. I have been struggling with this for years, so, I understand, it can be so hard to forgive.
Lord, please grant me the peace to be able to forgive my neighbors, no matter how small or large the act was against me. Help guide my thoughts to healing and mercy rather than anger and hatred. Amen.