Words of Hope — Live in Forgiveness
The keyword I wanted to focus on for today is, forgive. I know that as Dad crossed over into eternity, any memories of bitterness, resentment, or unforgiveness simply cannot accompany him into the presence of the Lord. How do I live this right now? I consider how easy it is to let a remembered slight nag at my mind or cause me to have an indifferent or bitter attitude toward someone when I am surprised by their memory through a Facebook post or an old photo.
Dad and I had many in-depth conversations about forgiveness, especially the forgiveness of his father, who caused him tremendous harm and suffering. Dad was rarely lazy with the business of forgiveness. He took his work seriously and often checked in with me to see if anything was interfering in our relationship. He did this naturally and gracefully. I never felt like it was contrived but flowed entirely from his generous nature to live from a loving spirit.
My dad spent his forgiveness energy recognizing ways to ask others to forgive him rather than dwelling on whom he needed to forgive. I want to live this way. How quickly can I realize a hurtful tone of voice with my family members or how I checked out of a conversation through distraction and failed to be present? Am I able to ask, “Will you forgive me for not being considerate to you when you were speaking, for putting my agenda above connection with you?”
I want to live with a forgiving heart and a will to treat this day like an eternal day— where God is present now, and Dad is with me always. Here is one of our favorite passages we memorized together.
“Therefore as God’s chosen people holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” – Colossians 3:12-14