It took me a while to reach an understanding of how love leads to forgiveness.
As I continue this series that is focused on my personal experience with love and forgiveness--both recent, and throughout the journey up until recently–I am realizing just how much the two coincide.
A series of events within the last several months had really put my will to love and forgive to the test. My mother and I had been going through a somewhat lengthy bout of, what boils down to, the blame game. We had found reasons to hold onto old wounds and deep-seated scars from the past. We had chosen to use the past as a very firm and very stationary reason for not allowing the other the opportunity to be part of the other’s life. We both had our druthers, and we both shared a very strong desire to justify our prideful ways.
That is truly what it all comes down to.
It’s a hard decision to actually let go of the things that hurt us in order for the unconditional love that God has for us to freely flow within us. It is pride that keeps one from the truth of Jesus Christ, the very reason we have this disease we call sin in the first place (read Genesis), and it is so deeply engrained within our being that it causes us to focus on our own needs before considering the others’. You may not be able to relate in the same way my mother and I had cheerfully (within our own glory, outside of that of God’s within us) stood our stubborn grounds, but I’m positive you can look at your own life and see the ways in which pride has trumped what God commands.
My mother fell and broke her arm a few weeks ago. She, being recently separated from her husband, really needed some assistance. It was within this time that I, wholeheartedly, decided to let go of our past. Miraculously, she did the same. After one little incident (which was to be expected) of us going back and forth over something that happened months prior, and subsequent to the short argument over who had been hurt more by it, we have been showing each other so much love, grace, kindness, gentleness…..what sounds a lot like the fruits of the Spirit! It has been a very, very long time since we have been able to be ourselves again with each other–that mother / son relationship that I seriously can say we haven’t had for nearly three decades.
Holding onto the past is such a huge deal that all of us have trouble letting go of. We are so quick to think that some things are never to be forgiven. Even as we read, believe, proclaim and say we follow Christ, we still put forgiveness and love on the backburner…
all because of this stupid pride!!
It’s unbelievably astounding how one can claim to be the truest man or woman of God in Christ, and still have the pride of Lucifer himself in some way. I see it all of the time within my brothers and sisters in Him. Scoffers, those with the holier-than-thou approach, liars, thieves and backstabbers. The list of how all have fallen short varies within us all. Jesus Himself said that not one is “good”, and for very good reason.
As my mother and I are moving forward, and as prayer, focus on His voice, and a conscious decision is made to see that everyone is hurting and influenced by this disease we call sin, we have decided to accept the fact that everyone is fighting the battle in their own way, and we will see that we are no different. We know that we–like everyone else–are crafted from our personal experiences. We have our relationship with the true God, and we will continue to learn from Him and His true ways. We will continue to learn about how love and forgiveness coincide, and do our best–moment to moment–to better serve Him instead of ourselves.