To Forgive is to Extend Grace
I can be so petty sometimes – especially when driving. I find myself wanting revenge when another driver cuts me off. Recently, I realized that I do it in other situations of my life, too. It’s that whole “eye for an eye” mentality. I’m doing it. Or maybe it’s the mentality of I couldn’t possibly be in the wrong at all – it’s all his or her fault.
Then I find myself in situations where someone actually apologizes to me for a wrongdoing. I will find myself smiling back at them saying, “Oh, it’s okay!” and then I hold a little grudge in the back of my mind. But the older I get, the more I’m realizing that the more grudges I hold, the more work it is to remember why I was so upset in the first place.
I’ve heard people say, “Give it up to God”. I used to think that was only for worries: Worried about something? Give it up to God! But really, it covers everything…including forgiveness. Don’t carry that weight of judgment on your shoulders. Give it up to God and let it go because in the end, your judgment doesn’t even matter. Let God deal with it.
Thinking about that concept gave me this epiphany: If my judgment doesn’t matter, why on earth am I putting so much effort into judging people and holding onto grudges? I could be putting that time and effort into so much more!
To forgive is to extend grace. People mess up all the time. I’m so thankful for the grace that is extended to me every day. I’ve done some foolish things in my life and I’m sure I’m not done. But it doesn’t matter as long as I apologize and come clean to God. God knows, anyway. God saw me when I messed up. He saw me when I realized I messed up. He guided me in my reactions after. Now, whether I listened/followed his guidance right away is another story…but that’s God’s grace and forgiveness once again. It’s a never-ending cycle: “I’m sorry!” “I forgive you!” Sorry again!” “I forgive you again!” All God’s grace, thanks to Jesus.
At first I thought, well stop messing up or God’s going to tire of all this forgiveness. But He doesn’t. He’s there for me. I think He finds contentment in forgiving me…forgiving us. When we ask for God’s forgiveness – and mean it – we get His grace. So if God is finding such satisfaction in forgiving US…think of the relief WE would feel if we were to just let it all go and say, “I forgive you” – and mean it! I, personally, will be about 3 inches taller, as the weight is lifted off my shoulders and my body stands tall once again, free from that burden.