It is in pardoning that we are pardoned and it is in giving that we receive. Francis of Assisi
Meditation: There are persons in our life who just cannot admit that they were wrong and ask us for forgiveness. Either their shame or their pride hinder them from doing so. (And sometimes long festering deep shame can look like or become pride). It is painful to be in relationship with somebody who cannot admit or even imagine that he/she unintentionally or intentionally hurt us. What do we do or say when the other person is unwilling or unable to admit wrong doing? Jesus showed us. When we not preemptively attack, but preemptively forgive, we are being set free. Emotionally we might initially not feel much difference as we spiritually practice those words: “He has wronged me. She has hurt me. I forgive them.” Sometimes the persons have already died or we are no longer in contact or relationship with them. Still, to say these words, even if our emotions will still need some time to be fully healed, is an amazingly freeing experience. Sometimes the very first step of granting forgiveness might also need to be to start with ourselves. Self-forgiveness is often the first step we need to take to heal our own shame and pride: “I have wronged somebody. I have hurt somebody. I forgive myself”. And in a second step, we then will and must go and ask that somebody to forgive us, while no longer feeling too ashamed or too prideful to do so.
Prayer: God, you are the advocate for those who got hurt. You know every wound. You count every tear. You feel every punch. Thank You for the life and example of Jesus. His ability to forgive surpassed ours by far, but he inspired us to say those words: “God, I forgive them as they do not know what they are doing.” God, help us with self-forgiveness and confession and also with other-forgiveness. Come, our Brother Jesus, teach us Your way of giving and forgiving. Amen
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38