Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 17: Why should I forgive?

forgive VERB
1. transitive and intransitive verb stop being angry about something: to stop being angry about or resenting somebody or somebody's behavior
2. transitive verb pardon somebody: to excuse somebody for a mistake, misunderstanding, wrongdoing, or inappropriate behavior
3. transitive verb cancel obligation: to cancel an obligation such as a debt
Why should I forgive? 

Well here's an easy enough answer:  God told me to. 
Colossians 3:13

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Does that mean I want to forgive?  Nope.  Not one bit.  Not at all.  I'm a vengeful little booger and I don't want to.  Even the Lord's Prayer has me asking God to "forgive my trespasses, as I forgive those who trespass against me." 

In my head is a two year old or a three year old little girl, she's standing in the doorway to go into school and her teacher is pushing her towards the classroom.  She's got her hands crossed accross her body and she's snapping at her mother with witty remarks such as, "I don't wanna!  I just don't wanna!"

I am that child.  The classroom is the door to forgiveness.  God is the teacher. 

I pray that someday I'll be able to learn the art of forgiveness, but for the moment I'm not very good at it.  Let me just say this once: You can do anything you want to me or say anything about that makes you feel better about yourself, however, the moment that you hurt a friend of mine or a family member you are my enemy.  I never forgive those that intentionally cause pain on another individual in my life, I don't care who you are.  I've always been this way, and I highly doubt I'll change. 

You see, in my mind I'm a brat.  I'm a tough cookie.  I'm Atilla the Hun.  (Okay, maybe that's a bit too far.)  I don't need to defend myself because most of what you do to me doesn't hurt me.  I'm not often emotional, and my way of deflecting mean comments is self-deprecation and I've gotten really good at it. 

For example, I'm chubby.  I know I'm chubby, so if you call me chubby one day then it won't matter because I've already said it.  So there.  I beat you to it. 

However, if you were to call one of my friends chubby then I would have to tell you to shut your no-good, lie-spreading, ignorant and ugly mouth.  I'd probably follow it up with something like, "Sure, she's a little over weight, but she can always lose weight.  It's your ugly face that will probably never get fixed.

Sorry, that was a bit harsh.  It was just an example. 

But why else should I forgive?  Maybe because hatred is a wasted energy.  Mom always said it's worse to be indifferent to someone than it would be if you hated them.  Hate and love are two very similar emotions, and I should focus on loving my dear ones more instead of hating my enemies.  Right? 

How about the stress factor?  Stress takes years off of your life and causes eyebrow and forehead wrinkles.  If I'm gonna be old and wrinkly, I want those wrinkles to be made mostly of laugh lines.  Forget your stupid line down the middle of the forehead from frowning, I want my big cheeks to be covered with laughing wrinkles and freckles from laying out by the pool. 

So that's why I should forgive.  But maybe you need to find your own reasons. 

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