We all have had the experience of being hurt by someone. It hurts even more when the perpetrators are loved ones.
We experience some form of indignation, betrayal, anger and the overwhelming nudge to retaliate.
We react in different ways when we are hurt by those closest to us. Some withdraw, bearing a grudge and with it unforgiveness. Others lash out immediately, sometimes in retaliatory action or simply ‘putting the offender in their place’; the ‘don’t you ever try that again or I’ll (fill in the blank)’ stance.
One proverb goes like this ‘even the teeth disagrees with the tongue’. Disagreements, hurt feelings and conflicts are natural. How we choose to handle these is entirely up to us.
Agreed our natural disposition or temperament has a part to play. For example, as an introvert, yours truly has the tendency to begrudge others when hurt. However, one can choose to and learn to react differently.
No one said it will be easy to forgive.
In the spirit of the season of Easter, one is reminded of its origin. It is not a story about eggs and bunnies rather it is one about forgiveness.
About a man who was betrayed by those closest to him. Those he called friends and family. Betrayed by those he fed, healed and supported.
Betrayed by those he prayed for and loved so dearly. The same mouths he fed later called for his execution.
Even his bosom friend denied him when he was arrested and being charged to court. He was afraid of being accused of being a co-conspirator.
This man had every right to die without forgiving his betrayers and executioners. Yet with his dying breath he expressed his forgiveness!
This is the message of Easter – Forgiveness.
I learnt to forgive a long time ago. It has not always been easy. It is not any easier now either. But I learnt that when I hold a grudge, I am imprisoned and the other is free. I carry a baggage of unforgiveness and I become a slave to bitterness.
I have learnt to free myself from this burden and move on.
To err is human, to forgive is a divinely inspired act.