When Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but and seventy-seven times.
Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)
Here’s the news flash, the Four Seasons, and Fergie, got it wrong…big girls do cry. Forgiveness isn’t easy. Forgiveness takes a good deal of faith, particularly when you’ve been hurt. Particularly when you’re hurt, faith and the courage to persevere may not been in good supply. According to an article posted at the Mayo Clinic website,
When someone you care about hurts you, you can hold on to anger, resentment and thoughts of revenge — or embrace forgiveness and move forward.
|Big girls do cry. So cry, baby girl. |
It’s what you choose to do next that may define you.
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Embracing forgiveness. It sounds so easy until it’s your turn. It’s even harder when the people you need to forgive are the very ones from which you seek support. Big girls do cry. So cry, baby girl. It’s what you choose to do next that may define you.
In the dialogue between Peter and Jesus on forgiveness, nothing is said about counting the number of times we forgive, not literally. Margaret Minnick, in explaining Jesus’ answer to Peter writes that,
Seventy is the ideal lifespan of a person. Seven is the number of completion. Therefore, Jesus told Peter to make it complete by forgiving as long as he lived.
Forgiving for as long as you live, like God. The moment you stop taking everything personally, the moment it stops being entirely about you and becomes about your growth, and your Grace.
Just tonight, I read that “the true mark of maturity is when somebody hurts you and you try to understand their situation instead of trying to hurt them back.” That’s moving past hurt. It’s scary, and its big, but it’s Grace-full. Full to overflowing.
I want to begin to move consistently past hurt. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to hurt, but hurt is not where we should remain. It’s what we choose to do next that defines us. So, let’s do this, shall we? Let’s shed our tears, then pull it together and keep it moving. There comes a time when your life should be more about your personal growth and the deepening of your faith that keeping score. Holding onto pain, withholding forgiveness does more damage to you than it does to anyone else, and, failing to forgive is a sin and that behavior DOES NOT glorify God.
Lord, this is my prayer. I desire to move consistently through hurt to Grace, walking away from me and towards You. I will be hurt, I will cry, but I won’t stay there. I am embracing forgiveness, because You embraced me. The Grace in which You enfold us is a state where I desire to reside, a state I pray to reflect, to give I desire to away. Let it be so, in Jesus’ Name, Selah and Amen.