Again and Again
Some years ago I came across an idea that helped clarify and deepen my
understanding of forgiveness. Forgiveness means relinquishment. It's
that simple. To relinquish something is to release whatever power it
holds over us. If I forgive someone for a wrong done to me, I no longer
allow that event to determine how I treat the other person. I may remember
the wrong or I may forget it, but either way I have disarmed it. It no
longer determines my actions, thoughts, or words. Forgiveness in this
sense is rarely easy or quick. How often do we say, we forgive another
person, but still hold a secret grudge? Because of its difficulty, forgiveness
has to be practiced. It is less an act than a way of living, a discipline,
skill. I think this is why Jesus told his students to forgive seventy
times seven (Matthew 18:21). True forgiveness often comes only at the
end of an inner struggle.
Parable of the Slighted Son"
by Mark Muesse