Forgiveness (from Chicken Soup for the Soul)
So who's the person in your life that did something you just can't forgive? Where do you draw the line? What is forgivable and what isn't? Or maybe it's you? What did you do to a friend of yours, that to them is simply unforgivable?
We take people for granted sometimes and we do and say things that we really don't mean and we wish we could take them back. Sometimes we are so hurt by something that we decide to never forgive the person who has hurt us.
I want to share with you a true story about a good friend of mine who was in that same situation. She was having problems with one of her siblings and they weren't getting along. She told me it was like a competition between them their whole lives and she was sick of it. So after a heated argument with her sister she decided she wasn't going to make time for her sister anymore. They barely spoke and only saw each other at Christmas, Thanksgiving or family birthdays. It was just over a year of not having a good relationship with her sister that she received a phone call that her sister had died in a car accident.
I can't begin to tell you the regret she had for not doing whatever she could to repair her relationship with her sister and now it was too late. The funeral was unbearable for her. She was completely heart-broken remembering all the good times she shared with her sister when they were younger.
It dawned on her that she was so focused on the negative things that she completed forgot about how much good there really was in their relationship. Now it was too late. My girlfriend still lives with the regret of not repairing her relationship with her sister. We can't control other people's decisions on whether they decide to forgive but we can make the decision to forgive those who have hurt us and ask God to help us in repairing our relationships.
Forgiveness takes courage and strength of character but most of all it takes love. So if things aren't right between you and a friend or family member, I encourage you to really think about the story I shared with you this morning. I can tell you right now, you don't want to be in the same situation my friend was in. Ask God for the courage and love you need to make things right with your family and friends before it's too late!
And so we pray, Jesus, help us to follow your example of forgiving others. Help us overcome our stubbornness and let go of the grudges we hold so we can repair our relationships with those who have hurt us. Help us during this season of Lent to learn to forgive.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. AMEN