Be Strong. Forgive.

23 Apr

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”  ~ Mahatma Gandhi

When I was young and growing up, the message given to us, mostly from our parents, was that it was a sign of weakness to forgive.  If someone did something to you, you didn’t forgive, you got even.  Getting even was the sign of strength, not forgiving.  However, it truly is the mark of a strong person to be able to forgive.

Why?  Well, one reason is that it really is counter-cultural in many ways.  The world would have us seek vengeance, not take the path of forgiveness.  When we forgive, we have to have strength to stand up to the world, including our peers who may be telling us not to forgive.

We are called to be examples in this world about the kind of life that should be led by others.  The life Jesus wants us to lead is not a life that is selfish but a life that is altruistic.  There are times that we do wrong.  We need to be big enough to forgive people when they do wrong and harm us because one day the shoe will be on the other foot and it will be us who have wronged someone and who seek forgiveness.

That is another reason to forgive: because we are going to seek forgiveness someday ourselves.  If we do not forgive, we cannot expect forgiveness.  This, my friends, is an ultimate rehearsal for the moment we meet our God face-to-face.  If we are going to ask our God for forgiveness, He is going to ask us how easily we forgave others?  We don’t want that conversation to end up badly for us because that conversation will have eternal implications.

Don’t be weak like the rest of the world.  Be strong.  Forgive.

FAITH ACTION:  Take some time to recall your many relationships with others.  Is there a person whom you find difficult to forgive?  Do so today.