The Strength to Forgive…

I believe forgiveness is the best form of love in any relationship. It takes a strong person to say they’re sorry and an even stronger person to forgive. Yolanda Hadid

Meditation: Sometimes it is hard (and yet possibly easier) to forgive somebody who asks us for forgiveness. If both sides are involved, we possibly experience the act of asking and granting forgiveness as a time of mutual vulnerability and love. Yes, it takes strength and courage to forgive somebody who asks us for forgiveness. However, it takes even more strength and courage to forgive somebody who does not ask us for forgiveness. Prayer is the practice and process of finding this even greater strength and courage. Praying is a powerful practice when we try to forgive somebody who wronged us and who does not show remorse. Praying as Jesus taught us means that I am placing myself in the realm of God’s forgiving love. When I pray, I realize how much I need God’s forgiveness, as I become aware of my own short-comings, my character flaws and my imperfections.  At the same time in prayer I allow to be embraced by God’s loving forgiveness. I experience God’s grace. I experience freedom. Prayer then also demands of me and gives me the strength and courage to forgive others in a one-sided way. This act of one-sided forgiving has nothing to do with heroism nor with forgetting or condoning. More so it is the need to forgive and no longer allow my feelings about the other person who wronged me to hold me hostage and produce destructive feelings of hate, self-pity, victim thoughts and resentment. When I forgive, then I am the first one to be set free. The other persons might not know that they are being forgiven. For them to come one day and apologize would be desirable and freeing for them, but it is no longer essential. Forgiveness and freedom have happened already. Love has replaced resentment.

Prayer: God, give us the strength and courage to forgive those who wronged us, whether they admit it or not. Help us to know our own need for forgiveness, so that we become able to forgive others as an extension of being forgiven ourselves. Thank you for your forgiveness and mercy that is available and new every morning. Free us from all bondage to hate, victimhood, resentment or self-pity by enabling us to forgive those who wronged us. We are deeply grateful for the amazing power of your forgiving love. Amen

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. Mark 11:25