When you don't feel like forgiving, ask the Father to help you do it anyway.
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” —Matthew 6:14 (nkjv)
A nurse who was known to say the first thing that entered her mind made the most cutting remark: “I met your mother yesterday, and she walked like this.” She then proceeded to imitate my mother who was horribly crippled with osteoporosis. The shame and humiliation I felt were so great, it made me nauseated.
For two long decades, I harbored a grudge. Every time I saw this woman, I told myself, I will never forget what she did to me. That hurt so bad.
Today, I was teaching a class at the hospital when that same nurse, a student in my class, admired the earrings I was wearing. “Would you mind telling me where you purchased them?” she asked. “I would just love to have a pair.”
I’d bought the heart earrings at a resale shop some time back, so the likelihood of her finding another pair was slim to none. They cost only a couple of dollars, but they were one of my favorites.
When I returned to my office, I couldn’t stop thinking about that nurse. Give those earrings to her as a gift of love and forgiveness, an inner voice nudged. I cleansed the earrings with an alcohol towelette. Forgiveness followed the act of giving—joyful, freeing forgiveness.
When I don’t feel like forgiving, Father, help me to do it anyway.
Written by Roberta Messner
Digging Deeper: Mt18:21–35