That behavior that makes you madder than a wet hatter, might deserve consequences. But whose consequences?
Sometimes in the throws of life, I learn a lesson. On rare occasion, that lesson cuts deep into the metal. Today’s lesson cut to the core, and kept hacking at my base until my heart came tumbling down.
Broken again? No. Not broken, just reminded… Reminded that I serve an amazing God who will take me to task every single time I fail and lift me up again and again, because of his great love for me. And by that reminder, I’m reminded, that he loves others too.
This must have been a lesson I was meant to learn, because it arrived on the wings of three Angels, one of those blessed Angels belongs to me. And I didn’t miss the lesson. I didn’t miss the importance, or the value of the lesson. Nor did I miss the dire consequences that came with it.
You see, I’d just written an article about Choices… For the Love of Life and posted it, when those life lessons came reeling in… As you might expect, when you post such an article (if you click it and go read it, you’ll be able to come back to this page and finish), the reality of your own choices come flooding back to haunt you if by some crazy concept you haven’t completed your own responsibilities… So, there I sit, reeling in the reality and life lessons, when I realized, yeah… I have to own this one too.
Tears may flow, but I still have to own it.
I’m going to be transparent here… I’ll still have some work to do when I finish this message, but I already got started on it. And this lesson is important enough to share.
Forgiveness isn’t necessarily for others.
It’s for me. When I forgive you and let go of the crimes you committed against me, I’m not letting you off of any sky hook from heaven, I’m simply letting myself get on with the importance of living without dealing with your guilt or lack there of, because I stop hating you for it. I stop feeling like you owe me an apology, or anything. I let myself stop expecting ANYTHING from you in regard to what I perceived you did to me.
You still have to deal with God for your guilt, or lack of it, or whatever it is you’re feeling, but I don’t have to deal with it any more, because I just let you go. I gave your crimes against me, and all that I perceived due to that, to Jesus, and asked Him to bless your soul.
I let you go.
Forgiving others is something I do for me. Because when I forgive them, I can fly. I can fly.
Give the burden to God.
As long as I don’t forgive you, as long as I hang onto the hurt and pain of what I perceive you did to me, I have to carry around that weight. I have to carry your burden.
I could give it back to you, but you probably don’t have the same perception as I have. Maybe you don’t even think you did anything wrong? Maybe you think the wrong was something I did… And it could be, but that isn’t what I perceived.
So… Here I am, carrying around this big ole burden of perception, and I realize it’s just my perception. The person I’m perceiving as wrong, may well have been wrong. They may be doing all the hurtful things I perceive, but in his/her mind – they’re doing what they do to help themselves, and they don’t see it as wrong. EVEN IF WHAT THEY DO IS CRIMINAL.
Please read that part again…
Now, read this:
Even if what I perceive is the worst crap imaginable, and the person has really hurt me bad with their actions. I can hand that burden off to God (and I’m imagining here a BIG backpack filled with heavy, hurtful stuff) and I never have to pick it up, look inside it, or even think about that backpack full of painful heavy, hurtful stuff again. I can leave it at the feet of God and forgive that person for whatever is in that backpack, and never have to worry about it again. I can let it go.
I’m not doing it for him. I’m doing it for me. I’m letting it all go.
Let the Consequences Fit the Crime
Now, here’s the part that pulls this whole thing together… Because when you think of consequences for the crime, you may be thinking that whoever you perceive wronged you should have consequences. So, I’m going to give you the tools here to let that go. Leave that thought at the feet of God, and walk away.
Those consequences don’t belong to you.
You don’t have to worry about assigning them, or thinking about them, or dealing them out, or anything… You left that burden at the feet of God and now you’re done. You’re done with it. You don’t need to carry that burden anywhere – ever again.
Coming up next: Be a Blessing Because You Can