I have been hurt. I have been stalked. I have been hit. I have been curses. I have heard lies about me. I have seen them talk. The list of infractions and misdeeds could go on.
Most of what came against me washed away almost as soon as it arrived. I liken myself to the duck and the infractions to water on my back. They bead up and roll away. Letting it go allows peace to stand in its place. I am not offended because I choose not to take offense.
It is not always like that.
There are some things that have burrowed into my head. I remember them as vividly today as if they had just occurred. I not only took offense, but I embraced offense. I made that offense my walls – to protect me or imprison me, it mattered not.
I read Matthew 18 and I understood forgiveness in a whole new light. It is not about me. I say that a lot, but I still trip up on it now and again. It is not about that other person. It is not even about the offense. Like so much that I am beginning to understand, forgiveness is all about God.
I forgive simply because God forgave me.
I get it and in my getting, I let go of offense. Holding on to that offense will not insulate me from future offenses. Grasping that offense will suffocate me. It hinders me from developing relationships in the future and from healing existing relationships in this moment.
The offenses that I suffered ranged from rude to great. I looked at them today against a backdrop of the cross and I realized how small they all were.
The people that hurt me were not attacking me. “I have sinned against no one but you, God.” David reminds me that in truth, all the attacks (big and small) are directly against God.
I changed my direction. I stopped looking at the hurts and started looking at the hearts. I pray for the love of god to pour over the lives of those that have caused me pain. I pray for that same love to fill those that I encounter each day to the point that that love becomes so full that everything is seen with the backdrop of the cross. I pray that if you get nothing else from these words that you get the understanding and the need to pray . . . it is through prayer that offenses will bead up and roll of so that peace will grow in its place.
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Kathryn Lang offers words of hope through her writings and her teachings. Learn more about Kathryn by visiting her website www.KathrynLang.com. You can also invite Kathryn to teach at your next conference or event by emailing her at email@example.com. Kathryn would love to hear about your own journey of peace. Share with her today.