The world we live in is so unforgiving. You have exactly one shot. One chance with anyone’s heart. Platonically, Romantically, even in a Familial sense, the message is clear:
Don’t. Cross. Me.
Don’t hurt me. My heart can’t take it and my mind won’t allow it. We preemptively block people out. We base all our interactions on that time in sixth grade when Jane stepped on our toe and never apologized. Or when in High School John broke our heart. Or in College when your best friend abandoned you when you needed it most. Or [insert emotional trauma here].
I dare not dismiss anyone’s experience. My emotional trauma, just like most of the world’s, has a range from petty to crippling. Some stretching as far back as I can remember.
That’s a lot of baggage.
And because of the weight I carry, I’m so guilty of blocking people out. Don’t get me wrong. I have an enormous support system. My family and friends could rebuild a nation on our own. And in a lot of ways we are.
There are a small handful a people who make it in to the inner sanctum. Who can see me at my most vulnerable. Who have seen my broken bits, held them, and help me put me back together again with patience and prayer.
The existence of these few help me to justify my stance on any newcomers:
I don’t need you.
I have all I need and you ain’t it.
I know I got a lot of Amens on that one.
So what’s the problem?
First and foremost, how does that attitude edify Christ? How am I to simultaneously love you, while fully committed to dropping you the next time you offend me?
You want to read something frustrating?
“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but Until seventy times seven.” Matthew 18: 21, 22
And it gets better:
“So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not very one his brother their trespasses.” Matthew 18: 35
A direct command from Jesus himself, with an addendum reminding you that you get what you give.
A lot of Christianity and walking with Christ is remembering that you are not perfect. It’s remembering that you are, more often than you’d like to admit, on the other side of the pain. Everyone is as some point or another. You have to remember that you want to be forgiven. You have to remember that the bond we all share is our humanity.
Even when you are hurt.
The only way you can effectively do this is with Christ’s help. You have to pray and ask Him to guide you on how to forgive through your own pain. He did it, so he knows. And when you feel like you can’t:
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
This may feel like an oversimplification, because it is. We make our lives complicated by overemphasizing the weight of our emotions in our situations. We choose Christ so we don’t have to bear any weight, pain, trial or tribulation alone.
The point of your life is to point back to Christ and what better way to show Christ in you than to forgive like He does.