As I’m sure I have said enough lately…the book is out very soon. I’ve been anticipating this release for months. It’s been a surreal experience mostly. An anxiety-inducing experience. And an exciting experience, for sure. And right now, I want to tell you why my book matters.Absolved is a story about forgiveness. And I want to share thoughts regarding forgiveness. I’ll start with reminding you of how the word “forgive” is defined:
:to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong): to stop blaming (someone)
:to stop feeling anger about (something): to forgive someone for (something wrong)
:to stop requiring payment of (money that is owed)
We’ve all had our share of experience with needing to forgive. Even early in life, after fighting with childhood friends or siblings. I still remember being forced to hug my sisters after a fight. It was almost worse than the fight itself, having to show affection when I was angry. However, we always forgave each other and became friends again, and it was easy then. We were young and didn’t hold grudges.
Of course it isn’t as easy to forgive when you grow up. Sometimes hurt turns into anger, and anger doesn’t allow much else to creep in. We know forgiveness is a good thing, but our pride gets in the way. The world offers this phrase: “forgive, but never forget.”
“Forgive, but never forget.” This is an interesting one. Is it true forgiveness if you’re holding on the memory of the hurt? And why exactly are you supposed to remember the wrong, if you’re forgiving it? If, as the dictionary tells us, to forgive is to stop feeling anger toward someone, or to stop blaming someone….why are we holding on to the memory? It baffles me that this is a common mentality regarding forgiveness. And I can’t help but think of what we are commanded, as Christians, to do.We are to love one another. Forgive one another. How many of us recite the Lord’s Prayer? As a Catholic, I say it during every mass. I also say it daily while praying the rosary. “…and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who trespassed against us…” Ah. Yes. We are to forgive others. And I’m not sure Jesus intended for us to “forgive, but never forget.” After all, he paid a pretty big price so that we could be forgiven.
Psalm 103:12“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
This verse is reassuring to me. And after a good confession, I do not feel as though I’m being told “Now, Christy, you’re forgiven this time, but I’m going to remember this!” No, I don’t feel that way at all. I feel like the sin was taken away, and forgotten. I feel free from it. I feel true forgiveness.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could always forgive each other in that way? This is what I strive for in my marriage. We’ve had our struggles in the past, but I think my husband and I are pretty decent at the moving on, and not bringing up old arguments thing. Lately I’ve been the one in need of his forgiveness. I’m very pregnant, very hormonal, and NOT always very nice. But the man has been patient with me…and after I apologize, he accepts. He doesn’t say “Yeah, okay, you’re sorry and I accept…but blah blah blah, you made me angry, blah blah blah.” He just accepts. And we move on. It’s pretty awesome.
It’s often a hard concept, forgiving someone…especially when the hurt is really deep. I’ve only listed a couple of minor examples. You could be reading them and thinking maybe it doesn’t apply to you, because the hurt you’re experiencing doesn’t compare to a silly marital spat. I understand that. My main character in Absolved struggled for years because she simply didn’t know how to go about the whole forgiveness thing.
I don’t think it has to be difficult though, when we truly give it to God. If you believe in Him all things are possible, surely you can believe He can help you to forgive. Or to ask for forgiveness, if you are on the other side of things. It is such a beautiful grace that is available to each of us. And such a freeing grace.
I hope by reading my book readers feel encouraged to embrace what true forgiveness is. It can repair broken relationships, it can take away pain, it can bring us closer to God. It is important, and it matters.
Until next time…