When I was in the fifth grade I had an experience that I have never forgotten. One day while on the playground I got in a fight and no matter how hard I try, I can’t remember why we were fighting. The boy was bigger than I was and he put me on the ground and sat on me. He had his knees on my arms and I could not move.
Somehow I got one of my arms loose and threw a punch. Even though it was a wild swing, I hit him in the mouth. His mouth started to bleed and the realization that he was still on top of me brought fear to my young heart. Even though I was helpless and he could have hurt me easily, he had mercy on me and let me up. We spent the rest of school years as friends. He had found in his heart to forgive me for hitting him in the mouth and the outcome was good. He could have paid me back while he had me one the ground, but he didn’t.
Forgiveness doesn’t make the person you are forgiving right, it makes you free. That might be the hardest thing that we humans have to learn. When we harbor unforgiveness toward someone, we are haunted by the inability to release our constant thoughts of them. We go to bed upset because we can’t quit thinking about what they have done to us and we wake up the next morning upset because of them. We become obsessed with thinking about the unpleasant experience they have brought into our lives and soon it has control of our life. Now the person who has done us wrong, also has control of us.
Is it impossible to forgive people who have wronged us? If we do not forgive those who have done something against us, are we giving them permission to hurt us continually? Have we ever needed to be forgiven?
These are the everyday issues in life that we discuss at The Gathering Place Sunday mornings at 10:30. Check us out on Facebook or our website at gatheringplacewch.org.
Pastor: The Gathering Place Church