As I come to the end of this month, I look back on my resolution and realize I have not gained any new and deep insights that are earth-shattering and incredibly profound. However, I have gained a much deeper understanding of the concept, and I am grateful for the experience.
Having said that, I had an interesting epiphany as I was preparing to write this post, and I want to share it as my summary about forgiveness:
In order to need to forgive when forgiveness is difficult, one must be harmed in a way that the person feels as unwarranted and/or intentional - or not understandable. When pain or harm is seen as warranted and/or unintentional, when it is relatively easy to understand why the other person did what they did, it is much easier to forgive.
As I pondered this epiphany, it struck me HARD that learning to see others as God sees them - learning to be charitable in our expectations of others - learning to not be offended by the words and actions of others - becoming meek and merciful - this is the single most powerful way to be able to forgive. It also is a way to avoid the need to forgive in many of the more "minor" cases of harm - since a meek and merciful person will be less inclined to be offended and less likely to feel the need to forgive in the first place.
In summary, becoming a forgiving person BEFORE major pain and harm occurs is key.
Andrew Sproul, Missionary: August, 1842; December 1846
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