I fear that sometimes I am a slow learner or perhaps a learner that requires the learning of a lesson more than once. A redundancy. Unfortunate, and yet, something that is all too familiar to me.

I have often heard, and even previously learned that when you don’t forgive someone, you really do it to the detriment of yourself. They hurt you… maybe physically, maybe emotionally, maybe spiritually, maybe all three, but nevertheless, they leave a mark you wish wasn’t there. You are angry, hurt, and resentful. And these emotions become welcome friends to your heart. They are the outlet that you find solace in… but they start wreaking havoc. Before long, they creep deep enough and take hold of the hope, joy, and peace that were in your heart. These were delicate. They were delicate. And you didn’t protect them. You chose not to forgive.

The point is… that not forgiving means that you have given the perpetrators of your hurt more power over you than you could ever realize. You give them the power to control your joy, your peace, your hope. Your hope. They control your hope. That’s a lot of power to give away.

Forgiving them… it seems counter-intuitive. It seems like you are relinquishing your power, your stand, your pride and are becoming weak. But may I assert that perhaps the act of forgiveness is one of the most courageous, strength-requiring acts that a human can endeavor to achieve. It hurts to have been wronged and not be able to be recompensed or have been able to right the injustice that occurred. But as unlikely as it may sound, forgiveness is the route to healing of the hurt. Forgiving is taking that power that they once had over you and stripping it from them. It’s allowing a new day, to be just that. A day that is yours again. A day that you find your hope, joy, and peace. A day that you have courage again. Courage to forgive and to become a better person for having forgiven. A day that you are a forgiver.

This is the lesson that I have been reminded of today. So for all the hurt that you have experienced or will experience: 1) Christ have mercy on us for the evil around this place and 2)Be courageous. Forgive. Choose the road less traveled and it will make all the difference.

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