Saturday, July 12, 2014

Forgiveness and other F words


No, I am not going to use the F bomb in this post for obvious reasons. Let's take off our tinsel halos for just a moment though, and admit that when it come to forgiving a major injustice the F bomb has crossed our mind, or even our lips (gasp), before we get around to forgiving it. Whew. With that out of the way, and tinsel halos back in place, what are the other F words?

The first one that comes to mind is, say it all together now, forget. Forgive and forget fans please forgive me, and forget my sarcasm, when I say forget forgive and forget; it's a fantasy.

The word beginning with the letter F that comes to my mind is fear. Both fear of needing to forgive and needing forgiveness myself. Is either side ready? When is the right time? Where is the right place? Is it worth addressing? Why can't we just forget about the whole thing? Will it make matters worse? Are they going through the same emotional turmoil I am? Maybe I can just avoid them until it blows over. *&%$! I don't know what to do, how to do it if I do decide to forgive, or even if I can genuinely forgive this. (Okay, so I lied a little. Hope you can forgive me.) The word frustration come to anyone's mind?

If you want to know how to forgive go to scripture. If you want to know how we typically forgive turn on the radio. "We bury the hatchet but leave the handle stickin' out" says it really well. This Garth Brooks song was released in 1991 and I still remember it. And I'm not a country music fan. Anyone still think you can forget a major injustice?

There are so many questions when it comes to forgiveness. There are divisions among godly christian leaders regarding the who, what, where, when, why, and how of if all. I'm not going to claim to have all the answer by any stretch of the imagination. There are a few more words I'd like to add to the discussion though.

Who - From easiest to hardest: friends, family, and foes. Or should foes come before family? Hmmm.

What - Others failures and our own. Again, forgiving ourselves being the harder of the two.

Where - Fair territory (AKA neutral ground)

When - ASAP but feel out the facts and follow the leading of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit on this one.

Why - The fortification of the relationship or simply the future of it. Lack of forgiveness could end it.

How - Fully and fairly; easier said than done.

One last word - Fend (AKA defend or protect) Put one of these in place of forget in the old forgive and forget adage and it becomes much easier to do. Oh, and don't forget the forgiveness and protection is for them as much as it is for yourself.