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  • Miss Quantum

Anyway, Forgive Them.

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” - Matthew 5:23-24

Forgiveness is undeniably one of life's most formidable challenges. It requires a profound shift from our innate human inclinations. Our instincts often whisper that if someone inflicts harm upon us, retaliation is the natural response. It's as though an unwritten code dictates that if we're hurt, we must hurt back - an outlook that can cast a shadow over our world. This mindset, all too prevalent, is often the root of conflicts and turmoil that plague our lives, communities, and nations worldwide. Unsurprisingly, embodying Jesus's teachings on forgiveness is a daunting feat - one that exceeds our individual capabilities.

Yet, within the embrace of Jesus's example, we find a glimmer of hope and the path to true forgiveness. Jesus, the paragon of compassion, not only spoke of forgiveness but illuminated it through his very life. Even as He hung on the cross, His heart heavy with the weight of suffering, He uttered the profound words, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34a). His plea for forgiveness, even in His darkest hour, stands as the quintessential blueprint for our own journey toward forgiveness.

The road to forgiveness is akin to a spiritual muscle, one that demands exercise and cultivation to grow stronger. It's intricately interwoven with our act of worship. Matthew 5:23-24 gently guides us, urging introspection before God. As we approach Him in worship, we're called to pause and assess our hearts for lingering unforgiveness. Indeed, our hearts cannot be fully receptive vessels of His love if weighed down by the burden of resentment.

American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr once declared, "Forgiveness is the final form of love." This sentiment resonates deeply, reminding us that forgiveness is a profound embodiment of godly love. When we choose forgiveness, we mirror our Heavenly Father's essence. It's an act of love even towards those we believe don't merit it. The wisdom of the apostle Paul echoes, urging us to "make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others" (Colossians 3:13, NLT). As followers of Jesus, our pursuit of forgiveness transcends mere ethical correctness; it aligns with the divine.

Here lies our pathway forward: Pause, in quiet reflection, and assess your heart for any lingering traces of unforgiveness. Document these reflections in your journal. Lift your heart in prayer, seeking the strength of the Holy Spirit to grant you the power to forgive. Contemplate a plan of action, if feasible, to join in reconciliation with the person you've struggled to forgive.

Venturing Deeper: A profound means of unearthing the richness of Scripture is by exploring different translations. You need not amass an array of Bibles; a visit to an online bible will suffice. Engage with various translations and observe the insights that illuminate your understanding. In these explorations, you'll uncover new dimensions of wisdom and grace, enriching your journey toward forgiveness. Be well.

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