I had an interesting experience with forgiveness today. Well… mostly that I needed it.
In fact I’ve needed it quite a bit lately, and it dawned on me this evening how forgiveness isn’t just a miracle cure. Forgiven or not, the damage is done, you know? And that can sometimes forever alter relationships..
It was like being caught with my hand in the cookie jar, and not just knowing that, “No, I’m not supposed to have my hand in the cookie jar..” but also knowing that, “Yes, when Mom finds my hand in the cookie jar she’s going to cut off all my fingers.” Consequences EXIST! How can I, when I feel my emotions or self serving attitudes take over, justify any behavior by saying I can’t control it? It is required of us to show love and grace to ALL people, in ALL situations, at ALL times. As difficult as that may be, there’s no excuse for any behavior otherwise.
I hope the realization of the FINALITY of my behavior (you can’t EVER undo it..) is convicting enough that I am catalyzed toward change in a greater way than ever before. Yes, I’ve been forgiven, but should I have branded others with my impatience and unloving attitude in the first place? Absolutely not.