Saturday, June 13, 2009

FREEDOM OF FORGIVENESS


Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32, NIV)


If you are the parent of a child with a special need, you have experienced the wounds inflicted by others. (Of course, we all face this heartache in some form on this earth.) You may have been questioned, judged or talked down to. Rejection, ridicule or opposition may have pierced your heart.


It is difficult to forgive somebody who kicks us when we're already down. But that's exactly what God calls us to do. Though the world proclaims, "Don't get mad -- Get even!", our wise Father cautions, "Don't repay evil for evil." (Romans 12:17) That may be asking a lot, especially if we're trying to draw from an emotional well that's already run dry. Yet, God who commands it can help you to make it happen.


Aside from stepping back and giving our hearts time to heal, one way to produce that forgiveness is to reflect on ignorance. People who inflict such wounds are often clueless, and so, once were you. They don't know or fully understand what a day in your life is like. They don't know your child like you do. Remember how you once viewed those with a disability and their families before you began your present journey? Would you want to be held accountable today for the ignorance you had back then? With that in mind, it becomes a bit more manageable to offer others the same mercy you would hope for.


One of Jesus' last prayers on this earth before he died was, "Father, forgive them, they don't know what they're doing." (Luke 23:34) We were far from perfect when our merciful Savior forgave us. When we pass on that forgiveness to other imperfect people, we free ourselves from the inevitable bondage that comes when bitterness sets up shop in our hearts.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Barb. Forgiveness is indeed a powerful tool in helping ourselves deal with ignorance and disarms the offending party. Thank you for your insight.

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