Earth is forgiveness school...

I forget where I heard someone say that, but it lodged in my brain somehow.

"Earth is forgiveness school."

So true.

You can be all by yourself and need to ask forgiveness for something you felt or thought or said to yourself.  You can be all by yourself and feel the need to choose to forgive someone for something that happened yesterday or 28 years ago.  Stuff, it seems, is always flowing through inlets or spilling through outlets and causing contamination.

Being forgiving and being forgiven are the two most crucial activities of the common man on an ordinary day.  I have very few days where, if I'm honest, I don't need to take an inventory and clean out my closet.  It gets messy in my mind in a hurry and my bitterness and anger can spring up and spill over in a matter of moments.  People can do something or say something that I have to forgive lest it steals away the better part of my day.  It gets into me like a grappling hook, I tell ya!

Or I'll find myself sinning against God or others standing in need of forgiveness myself, needing to ask for it so that I'm not living in broken fellowship with God or my fellow man.

This side of heaven is a boot camp, a boarding school of forgiveness.  The ones who learn to do this often and genuinely are the ones who attain freedom.  Freedom is the by-product of forgiveness.   Bondage is the by-product of Bitterness.  That's a truism.

Those who carry hurt and hate, holding onto pain and secrets and grudges and pride, well, they rot from the inside out.  For a while they can cover it up, but over time the blackness eats its way through the surface and manifests itself...and there's nothing you can do to stop it save hard-core, no-holds-barred forgiveness.  The more time you live with unforgiveness the less necessary it seems and the more bound and determined you are to not give it.  Heck, why would you give it now after holding out all these years?  It would be like admitting you were wrong, essentially wasting all that time...yep.

You wanna know the hardest thing in marriage...saying sorry and asking forgiveness.  "I was wrong.  Will you forgive me?"  Seems simple, but it goes against everything your flesh is screaming to do in the moment.  Your spirit wars with your flesh to bring it to submission, but it's a dogged diehard.  I can tell you there's nothing so freeing as giving and getting forgiveness.  Nothing.

And don't wait for someone to ask for it...give it to them anyhow.  It isn't the same as when they ask for it, but it's better than waiting--sometimes your whole life--for them to admit, confess, and plead for forgiveness.  I know you have it all worked out in your mind--how it's supposed to go and all--but let go of your ego and just forgive them.  Not forgiving them is only hurting you, poisoning you.  Someone said that not forgiving someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.  I like that analogy.  It's spot on from my experience and from watching people deteriorate as they carry the weights and wounds over the past cruelty inside them day after day, year after year.  It kills people, literally.  It hardens then deadens their heart and all the while the other person has often moved on with their life completely unaware of the thing that you can't let go of.  It's not worth it.

Do what Jesus did.

He said, "Father, forgive them, they don't know what they're doing."

I'm like, "Yeah they did...that's why they were doing it!"  But Jesus freed himself before he died by forgiving them even without them asking for it.  He knew that if they knew--really knew--what they were doing, they wouldn't do it.  But he allowed for human error, flawed judgement, wrong behavior, hurtful decisions, painful words, the pressure of mob mentality, and every manner of hurt they had experienced that was causing them to act out in this way...he looked at them and with some of his last breaths he "granted forgiveness".  He let go and entrusted them to God, His Father.

He is the example...the teacher. And earth?  Well, earth is forgiveness school.


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