We should also forgive our situations. At first read, this might sound a bit silly. However, I think it’s possibly the most practical and present way we can exercise this gift of forgiveness. What if, in the midst of a stressful moment, we paused to breathe and look around at the kids, or at our work/school situation, or at a family interaction and, in that breath, forgave it with all the grace and peace that we would forgive our closest friend or loved one? I would argue that this would give us the room we need to act with clear love and wisdom without blaming ourselves or an innocent bystander.
And last but not least, I believe we should forgive ourselves. This sentence doesn’t always come up in Christian language but do you not believe you are forgiven by Another whose actions and decisions you have pledged to follow, believe and even imitate? Then actively forgive yourself. To follow and pray to a God that is love and then to mentally beat yourself up is incredibly inconsistent isn’t it? Self loathing for the sake of humility is sort of like angrily cutting off your legs because you can’t dunk the basketball. You can humbly know your place and still enjoy the game and confidently grow in your strengths. Christian reader, this week especially, you celebrate being forgiven, now give back by being forgiving even if the one you must forgive looks back at you in the mirror.
Whether you must reach out or within with your forgiveness, it is a gift that you cannot afford to hold tightly. It must be given.