I was going to blog about forgiveness today.
The sermon on Sunday (and a very good one at that) was about forgiveness and it started off with the fact that we are forgiven by God.
What David said was "Some days I need to remember that God loves me, not for what I might be, but for what I am, today." That really struck a chord with me, because there are days when I don't feel very much that God can love me. My living arrangements are nonconventional, my attitude to paperwork is bad, and I have a propensity to use language as a weapon. (note use of word propensity was irony!) But God loves me, and he loves me just because. He knows I'm trying, importantly, he knows how hard I'm trying. I need to remember he knows that when temptation strikes me!
The next thing he said, was that God forgives us, and we struggle to forgive others.
Martin Luther King once said ""Forgiveness is not an occasional act: it is an attitude."
and I happen to think he has a point. I can choose to forgive someone, but unless I act on that behaviour, then my forgiveness is just a set of words, like someone saying sorry for name calling and then doing it again a moment later. Sorry just becomes a word, a thing we say, without meaning. "I forgive you." can become the same way. Jesus had that attitude of forgiveness on the cross ("Forgive them Father, they know not what they do.",Luke 23 v 34) and we should strive to be like that. He was being tortured and killed. We can let a few nasty words go!
The third thing he said (David being a fan of the traditional 3 point sermon!) was that if we didn't blame so much, we wouldn't have so much to forgive. Forgiving someone doesn't mean, "Your actions are unimportant, the way you hurt me doesn't matter," it means "Ok, you did this thing, and I am moving on." He talked about how compassion was better than bitterness, and how dwelling on the past doesn't make it better, or easier, but makes it eat away at us until it dominates our lives, and how the healthier thing for us, for our families, for our spiritual selves, is to let go of that bitterness, look for the compassionate act, and live with an attitude of forgiveness.
There was more to it than that, but I was making notes in my diary and I only had red crayon with me, so it was all written a bit big!
Anyway, there we go!
I need to make a concious effort to live with an attitude of forgiveness. It's not the same thing as being a doormat, just means that I need to pray for the people who hurt me and my family on a regular basis. I don't dwell in the past, and I've never seen the point in it, but the present certainly makes me think unkind things sometimes, though I very rarely let them out (they are fleeting!) and recording them gives them life. Not good.
And now it's 0630, and I'm going to have some porridge!