Thursday, April 12, 2012

Forgiveness--So Much Better

"Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”  ... Matthew 18:32-35


 What a day we had yesterday. What. A. Day. We had to forgive the AARP volunteer lady who refused to believe we had an appointment to have our taxes done (for free), put us on the 'walk-in list' and made us wait 2 1/2 hours before we finally decided any amount of money was worth avoiding this nonsense. We had to forgive the state of New York school tax office for charging us a late fee when it was their fault for mailing us the bill months late. We had to (again) forgive the lady at the bank who closed our main account and because of whom we're still reaping repercussions four weeks later. In the evening we had to forgive the rather-psychotic tax lady with the gruff exterior who did our taxes. And Tom and I had to forgive ourselves for eating Bk hamburgers and fries (again) as comfort food and ice cream (again) to celebrate surviving this day.

Some days are just like that.

But you know? I'm thinking everyone of us, each week, must choose to either forgive--or not forgive--various people in our own lives. As human beings we are all so darn imperfect! And if we deal with people at all, usually there's much to forgive; sour attitudes, sloppiness, mistakes, unkind words and deeds, impatience, thoughtlessness, meanness, forgetfulness, cluelessness, etc.

But there's one thing I know to be vital: For the sake of my health-- mental, physical, emotional--I must always choose to forgive. Otherwise? Otherwise it's too much like that verse, above, which says, "his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt." 

Ever been in the jail of unforgiveness? I have. It's a dark, webby place and there's depression in the air. You feel like everything is wrong, nothing is right anymore and the cold heaviness settles in your stomach and twists it. You don't get blessings in unforgiveness jail. Blessings are only memories there. 

And well, years ago I determined to stay out of those miserable cells and choose light, airy, healthy places of forgiveness, instead. 

And I hope you have, too. I hope I'll see you out in the light, dancing some freedom spirals of your own. Life is so good out there, even in 2012, even in an otherwise imperfect world.


"But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins."  ... Matthew 6:15


I love this Jesse Duplantis video. Love it. It's much about forgiveness, even though I'm not certain he mentions the word. His joy is absolutely contagious.


Happy birthday to Gladys Taber. Gone, but never forgotten.

Oh and sad news.... Miss Read passed away at nearly 99 years old. Read about her here. I have some of her books and will treasure them more now.



K.E. said...

Oh Debra - I hope today is MUCH better. Ice cream does help doesn't it? :)
You know, I feel so bad for that poor woman at the bank. She has no idea (probably) what havoc she caused by her mistake.
That you keep forgiving her (again and again) is a blessing for both of you. Even if she doesn't know it. :)

Elizabeth said...

I hope today is a much better day! I love this post! We do have to forgive!

Bonnie said...

Sometimes forgiveness is hard and it can take a while, too....but when it comes easily it feels great.

Ice cream is my go-to comfort food, too. It rarely disappoints. : )


Anonymous said...

I just watched the Netflix movie: The Power of Forgiveness. Very good. They talked to people who lost family on 9/11, about the Amish,people who have lost family through violence etc etc. How different groups see and think and work through forgiveness. I got the dvd through the mail and watched the extras on it too. Forgiveness is giving a gift of mercy to the other person. Have you seen this? There is a Reverand on it but also others. It is not particularly Christian but the thoughts are there. It is produced by the company [ Journey Films] that did Bonhoeffer. It said they specialize in filming spirituality, historical and social issues. They also produced Thomas Jefferson: A View from the Mountain and Albert Schweitzer:A Call to Africa. I only watched it last night and today your post is about forgiveness so I thought I would mention this film. Sarah

Echoes From the Hill said...

You are so right. Forgiveness is necessary in life. Two of my closest friends have had a disagreement with family members. One has been estranged from her daughter for years, and the other got into and argument with her sister and they barely speak. They used to be SO close. How can people live this way? How can you excommunicate their own flesh and blood? They are both miserable with the situation, but won't do anything to rectify the situation.
That isn't how we are supposed to live our lives.
Great post.

Yellowhouse Grandma said...

Sounds like some very good watching Sarah! I must add them to my list. Thank you Debra! I tried working on our yard yesterday and was so upset all over again by all the gravel the snow plowed threw into our yard I had to quit and come indoors. You have helped me put it in perspective and choose to forgive!