It takes a strong person ask forgiveness,
and an even stronger person to forgive
Most of us may have experienced certain hurts accumulated in the past. We may be tempted see ourselves as a victim of situations or persons which misbehave others. I have seen so many people become bitter, and they keep nurturing the bitterness for they think that it is natural to feel hurt when you are treated that way. Yet let us
to look our 'hurt' from different perspective. Our situations and what people do to us are mostly outside of our controls. You can even find that people can also do harm to good people. So sometimes we just cannot help the reaction of others to us. And in the end, it is more about how we respond rather than what the world do to us. We can choose to be bitter or better. Of course it will not be easy, but I believe that it can do you a lot of favor in a long-term. As someone says, "To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and to find out that that prisoner was you." When we hold to grudges, we are actually putting ourselves in a prison where the bad memories torment us day and night. It is only through forgiveness that we can truly be free and live abundantly.
When I learn about the type of humans' characters, it opens my eyes a lot to see that most of the proplems between human is closely related to how we communicate and how we perceived a message.
Every human being has uniqueness regarding the way they think, feel, and do. For example, Mike has a habit of saying words without thinking. He states his opinion frankly without any attention of hurting others. Yet as Josh hears Mike's words, he may think that Mike is humiliating him. And from this miscommunication (for the message perceived hit the wrong intention of deliverance) sparks up, the conflict begins to rise. It seems natural to perceive what we think as the absolute truth. Yet most of the cases, I find it is not. For people may have different way of thinking than us. To
assume what they think will be a tiring job you may not want to get involved with. Grasp each people uniqueness and try to understand them instead demanding them to understand you. Try not to feed your self-pity or pride if they mistreat you. Try to understand what makes them act that way to you. And even in the end they do harm to you intentionally, take heart to forgive. Take heart to forgive. The most basic medicine is to realize that no body is perfect and sometimes things are just happening in different directions that what we intend it to be.
There is a wise prayer which says,
Dear Lord, please grant me
courage to change the things I can,
serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
and wisdom to know the difference.
Here are some truths I find as I dig deeper on this prayer :)
#1 Courage to change the things I can
What are the things we can change? Ourselves. Period. Yes, we often thing that the problem will cease when the person who 'cause' our 'problem' change. Well, we cannot deny that other people may play some part in creating problems in our life. But, again, they are outside our control. What we can change is only ourselves. How we respond to what they do to us. I personally always believe that we can only to set the fire off by pouring water on it, not oil. If hate is the fire, then love will be the water. Anger, unforgiveness, and vengeance will be oil which can only make the fire blazes more fiercely.
Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked
I guess this is a high calling for us as the follower of Jesus Christ. The world thinks that it is natural for us to hate our enemies, to ignore those who mistreat us. Yet Jesus call us gently to show His love to these kind of people. For by then, the world may see how gracious is the love of our God to sinful human.
It takes courage to love difficult person. Why? Because by giving part of your heart to love them, you place your heart at a very vulnerable place to be hurted. Yet God, as faithful as He has always been, will always provide the strength and grace to enable you to do so. Our God is an ultimate healer. When He asks you to love your enemies, He is actually pointing you at the greatest medicine of your deepest hurt. His way will always turn to be beautiful. The opposite person can be changed miraculously by the touch of His love through you. But if they are still the same, you will be amazed at the end that it is you who change. A forgiving and loving heart is indeed a beautiful heart.
#2 Serenity to accept the things I cannot change
Our past and where we came from are things that we cannot change. No matter how much time we spend to remember or regret them over and over again, it still will never change. Therefore we need to get over what has been done and focusing on today and tomorrow. We are never born into this earth accidentally. There is one popular phrase "Married by Accident" to describe couples who get married simply because the women have been pregnant due to pre-marital sex. Even what the world think as 'accident' is never been accident to God. What human being considers as mistakes, God can still use it miraculously to glorify Him. But it takes our corporations to will and choose to walk into His beautiful unfold plans afterwards. We cannot choose our parents, but we can determine what kind of parents we would be in the future. Accept your past, change your future.
We also cannot change what people do to us. So at some point we need to be patient enough to endure undeserving behaviour to us and reply it with a sincere prayer so that God can empower us to respond rightly according to His Words. Keep in mind that all uncomfortable things that happen to you are His ways to shape your character so that you can be like Him.
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
I believe that everything will turn out to be beautiful if we just never give up to endure God's process in molding us into His likeness.
#3 Wisdom to know the difference
The wisdom here is not about not doing what we ought to do when we lose confident that it can change. For example, we stop loving the difficult person for we think that the effort will be in vain. The wisdom here talks about to keep doing our part (to love) as best as we can and surrendering the results to God. It is about to accept the presence of us as God created us to be and be thankful to Him. Keep living with a great enthusiasm knowing that God has prepared a great future for us which we cannot see at the moment.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance
- 1 Corinthians 13:7
There is a purpose why we still live to this very day. It is to love as God has loved us. To show the world how merciful, how great, how deep, and how wide God's love is to the most underserving one.
The question is ... Will you be His vessels of love?