Sunday, July 10, 2011

On Forgiveness

This is borrowed from a blog written by a friend of a friend. :) Here's the link, if you're interested in reading more of what she has to say.

Have you ever taken a step back, looked at a situation, and realized that you've been making it a lot more complicated than it really needed to be? That was entirely rhetorical, because I know that you're just like me and have probably done this more than you realize. It's funny, because when you're in the middle of it, it sure doesn't seem like you're over reacting. It seems like you're reacting to the exact, appropriate degree. But I have been wrong, wrong, wrong.

Something finally clicked in my stubborn brain today. There is a person in my life that I find rather difficult to love. And my reservations, my concerns about honestly loving them, my doubts, they are warranted. Or, at least, they started out that way. (Though one concern in particular I'd probably categorize as simply human, and not at all warranted.) But I have been selfish.

For days (or months, if you really need to know...) I have talked myself, and my friends, in circles about why I am right in this situation. Why my failure to love them is excused because I have to protect my heart, and if that relationship has to suffer in order for me to do that, well, you can't win 'em all. And yet, I constantly feel this need for affirmation. This need for others to validate that mindset, to agree with me that I'm right... That would be because I wasn't right at all. I have been copping out.

I have been so caught up in the little things that I've lost sight of the big picture. I realize that I have spent entirely too much time thinking about all the reasons why I shouldn't love them, instead of remembering the one reason that I should: because Jesus does. Because Jesus asked me to. I took my doubts and blew them way out of proportion. Because it is so much easier to concentrate on being frustrated, on all the reasons why loving them is a bad idea, than to risk being hurt by sharing my heart with them.

And I think my selfish motives run even deeper. I was looking for reasons to be frustrated. Why? Because loving them is hard for me. It requires my vulnerability without any guarantee that I'll be protected in that vulnerability. It requires the kind of reckless love that I have been praying for but (I'm now understanding) I have been too afraid to live by. I'm afraid of being hurt. I'm afraid of making things messy. And I'm reluctant to step outside this comfort zone of half-hearted love that I seem to be very fond of.


It isn't about me. Who do I think I am, to blatantly ignore the call to love someone, simply because it makes me uncomfortable? And my concerns didn't even start out as wrong. But that fact that I've been using them as reasons to excuse my selfish behavior? That is wrong.

I was wrong.

And the thing is, it doesn't make it any easier to love them. I think it will always be a struggle for me. That fear of being hurt, that desire to simply run away and let someone else love them is still there, still strong. But God doesn't call us to love each other like Christ because it is easy. He calls us to love each other the way he loves us because he knows how powerful love like that can be. It is that kind of love that changed my life. How dare I deny someone else the chance to know that kind of love? Because it's hard. Because I might get hurt. Because I'm too cowardly to love everyone the same.

Because I'm too selfish to love with reckless abandon and trust that God, not I, is in charge of protecting my heart.

Who do I think I am?

My call is to love. To love recklessly. To love everyone the same. To foster the same heart for people that God does. That's not what I've done at all.

I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

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