Forgive Until It Hurts

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You know that feeling when you’re welcoming a guest into your home?

You’re happy to be welcoming and accommodating, generous and hospitable. The person gladly takes, and then takes, and then takes some more. And then, you start to feel taken advantage of. Resentful even.

There is a general understanding as to how guests are to act in someone’s home. Guests are supposed to be grateful and polite. I mean, you’re putting them up and feeding them, right?

This understanding comes from our conditional demeanors. Most of us have one of two dispositions: a ‘giver’ or a ‘taker’. If you’re healthy, you try to balance out and get somewhere in-between the two. Still, you’re natural inclination is to lean one of two ways. So, we naturally either get taken advantage of, or bully someone. Neither of those options sound good. So disturbing that often times a ‘giver’ will vow to themselves that they will never be taken advantage of again, and they actually turn into a bully (or vice versa). But mostly, those who are redeemed will try to treat others how we want to be treated, and learn as we go.

But the question remains: As redeemed people, what’s the game plan when someone goes outside the acceptable norm? When someone tests your forgiveness muscles so much that it makes you sore?

Sometimes forgiveness feels like a marathon.

I think the truth is that Jesus forgives us more than we want to forgive others. His nature is unconditional; ours is the opposite. And this is a dilemma for us. A dilemma for our pride, for unmet justice, and for manifest sin running around like a harlot in our lives. We want to be the ones to catch it and pass judgement on it. But we want grace when it comes to our own sin. Naturally so, as we cannot handle the gravity of our sin, the weight of our wrongdoing to others or to God. We cannot handle the accountability in the depths of our souls. Therefore, there are only two ways out of our sin: grace or justification.

I don’t know how to tame my desire for justice towards those who unrightfully hurt me, but I don’t know how to account for those who I have hurt, either.

So I guess all I’m saying is that a mountain of grace from the One who can give it to cover my wrongs, and a mountain for those who have wronged me is the only way to deal.

And I’m thinking it’s the best idea I’ve had all day, anyway.

Aliza is a native of St. Louis, MO, who currently resides in West Palm Beach, FL. Her treasure is her God, family, community and the wonder of inspiration.