Let it Go
“Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For indeed I have forgiven anything, I have that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ…” 2 Corinthians 2:10
As the New Year arrives, many of us engage in the tradition of preparing a list of resolutions. Whether it’s to lose weight, get rid of debt, work toward our dreams and so on, there is a high chance that one thing is not on our lists: forgiveness. “Forgiveness should be one of your resolutions?” is what you may ask. Yes, it should, as surprising as it may be. However, let us not pretend – forgiving is hard! Admit it, sometimes we just don’t feel like forgiving that jerk who cut us off in traffic, or forgiving you-know-who who thinks she’s better than us. Sometimes we feel like we do not even want to forgive the people we love. Those of us with siblings can probably relate to feeling like this. The bottom line is, forgiving is not easy! Nevertheless, if we can be determined to lose the excess pounds that the holiday parties and dinners have cast upon us, we can certainly apply some of that determination to forgiving others.
As I mentioned before, forgiving is not at all easy. It is probably one of the hardest things we must do. As a young adult, I remember times in my second to seventh grade experiences. I remember being bullied, picked on, and I was not even close to being the one everyone wanted to be friends with. Trust me when I say this, those years of elementary, middle, and junior high schools were tough. I was not your typical kid. I was quirky, very juvenile, and I never really blended in with the crowd. I remember once when my so-called friend and I were going at it (with words, not fists) and she said, “God, will you ever grow up?” I was confused and offended at the same time. As a fifth grader, I thought I acted my age. That girl and I had little fights like this up until the spring, when it got really intense. Through all of it, I was always thinking, “I’ll never, ever, forgive her.” I tried holding a massive grudge, but I am not that type of person. It took me a while to actually let go of all the things that happened at that school. Nevertheless, as time went on, I learned to forgive her. I will admit there are some things I still do not want to let go of, but I know that they are past events that are just sitting in my way. I have had more than one experience where I have been accused of being ‘babyish,’ but that is just who I am. I have learned as I have grown in God that the way He made me was his idea and craft. I have learned to be less hurt by the fact that those kids did not like me, and I have learned how to forgive them no matter what.
If you are determined to do all of your other resolutions, then put ‘Let it Go’ on your list as well. If you-know-who is really working your patience, no matter how much you want to slap him upside the head, remember, ‘Let it go!’ If that still does not work, think of it this way, Imagine how many times God wanted to do the same to you. You might think twice about praying that a car would run that person over. So go on, take out the list and resolve to forgive everything and everybody. God did not have to send His only son to take away our sins. He could have stuck to the old rules of the time: you mess up; you have to have a sacrifice, someone had to pray for you and to top it all of, you could not communicate with God.
God loved us so much He took his only son and sacrificed him for our sins. Talk about ultimate forgiveness! If we could channel that forgiveness into our daily lives, just imagine the blessings we would get! NEVER forget that even though you may receive blessings, you should not just forgive because you want the blessing. Forgive because you want to, and because you believe you should. If you believe in God sending Jesus Christ to die for our sins, you should not even have second thoughts about forgiveness.
Not only that, we must forgive joyfully and graciously. We cannot forgive ‘Just because God says to.’ If you do not really want to forgive, then you should not even say you forgive them. Forced forgiveness is just as bad as no forgiveness. Forgiving people will make you feel a lot happier because you do not have the pain of the incident still clinging to you. It is still there, but it is not taking over your life. There will always be pain in this earth, but why suffer through it all when we could do what God asks of us and reduce the suffering! So, when someone apologizes to you for something beyond forgiveness, do not get bitter and say, “Why should I forgive you? You caused me all this pain,” or “Fine, I will forgive you, but only because I’m a ‘good Christian’ and God says to forgive you.” Forgive them because you want them to leave with a relieved smile because you forgave them. Forgive because you love that person no matter what. Forgive because forgiving should make you feel good and happy.
So go ahead, ‘Let it Go,’ and pray to God to forgive all you have done, and pray that He will give you strength to forgive the most unforgivable act, person and so on. Also, do not forget to thank Him for everything He has done already! I pray that a spirit of forgiveness may engulf you during this year. Happy New Year!