Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What Forgiveness Looks Like

Photo Credit: Mister G.C.
I have been thinking of writing this post for a week or so, but I just haven't made time for it.  I debated on continuing to make time for the blog.  Yesterday I read a post on Facebook from a friend (Yes, it was a beneficial thing on Facebook.). She hadn't shared one of her new projects yet, but Jesus prompted her to share it.  She added some advice, "Don't hide your talents. Put them out there."

I take that to mean maybe I should still set aside time to do this because maybe this is important.

So in the last week or so, I have come across a couple people who didn't want to talk to me.  One probably didn't see me,  but in the past seemed to be reticent to talk to me.  The other one was obviously visibly angered that I was talking to her. The topic was a common one between us,  but now there is some other problem there.  I have no clue what it is and I'm not going to worry about it.  If it was important, these people would talk to me about it.  As it is,  they aren't talking to me about it. Of course, I did quite a bit of thinking about what could be the problem and what I could have or should have done differently. In one case,  I know what it is.  There wasn't anything that could have been done differently. I hate that it may have caused a problem,  but I know I was following God's call. The other I have an idea or two that could have angered the person, but I don't understand the animosity that was the result.  So my mind is clear until the other person discusses it with me. 
What I am left with is that I don't want to live in such a way that I can't greet someone in public.  I am certain that there are legitimate reasons why people would avoid someone that they know in public.  In my life,  I can't say that there are any legitimate reasons to avoid people. There are most certainly people who I have had an issue with,  but I have done the interior work of forgiveness. I have forgiven that person, so I would feel comfortable chatting with them if I should meet them in public. For me in my life, I feel like this is my litmus test of forgiveness. If I can't chat with them in public,  then I haven't forgiven them. 

As I look at that standard, there are two people that don't pass the litmus test. One of the two,  I would chat with, but not because I have forgiven. I would chat with them out of spite. I am happy with where I am in life and I want that person to know I am happy in spite of the wrench they threw in the system.  So I don't feel like my reason to chat with them counts as forgiveness. The second person I wouldn't want to chat with at all.  So that is obviously not forgiveness.

This litmus test might be something you could use in your life if you are working on forgiveness.
How do you work on forgiveness? How do you know you are successful?