The deepest form of love that is not extended to many as we go about broken relationships, burned bridges, and so many other things that could have been fixed with the love of Christ, yet are not due to pride, guilt, pain, and so forth. While I do believe that it is necessary to end some relationships if they are beyond toxic to the point of it hindering your personal walk with the Lord, most relationships never get to that point. However, even at that point, we should still forgive even if we choose whatever path we choose to take.
Most relationships, whether romantic or not, suffer from miscommunication, open wounds, pride, hurts that have yet to be addressed, and other things that can be fixed with the humbling of hearts. However, forgiveness isn’t an easy subject, and while Christ calls us to forgive, we seem to have the most trouble with communicating such things; such things that can breath live again with the simple act of forgiving as He did.
” Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”” Matthew 18:21-22
I, for one, can attest that forgiveness hasn’t been easy in the past; however, I have a big heart for forgiveness, second chances, third chances, and for extending the same grace the Lord did. I believe that even if someone hurts me beyond a reasonable doubt, I will still forgive them and greet them with arms as the father of the prodigal son did as he waited for him to return home. I believe that even if someone does me wrong in ways that one might not forgive, I will forgive them and help them grow in the Lord rather than walk away.
Like the prodigal son’s father, I will wait for those who hurt me, for I want to welcome them with tender arms, for their brokenness, whether it was accidental or not, is welcome here. The Lord in all of His mercy died for those wounds, the Lord died for the person in front of me, and the Lord loved them; therefore, so will I.
Therefore, I will forgive and forget, for I don’t believe in remembering one’s downfalls, but rather I believe in looking at them as a sinner saved by grace.
I will forgive and grow, for there is much to be learned in a situation where forgiveness is offered, for it can help in the future in preventing the same situation from re-occuring.
I will be like Christ and cross the oceans for them even if they wouldn’t do it for me, for I love them even if they inflict pain against me.
While I am very strong in my beliefs and where I stand, I am very tender in regards of forgiveness, grace, and welcoming broken people into our mist. I don’t believe in one feeling left out at the table, I don’t believe in pushing one away, and I don’t believe in harshness, but I believe in soft words that turn away wrath. Though I am extroverted in nature, I am gentle and quiet spirit wise, but my prayers are prayed with fierce passion for those who hurt me, for those who love me, and for those who don’t understand.
Rather than burning a bridge, I wait as the prodigal son’s father did for his son.
Rather than spreading toxicity, I will pray for them, for they may not know of the wrong in which they’ve done, for many times, we don’t realize what we are doing until the Lord pulls the blinders off. Most importantly, rather than giving up, I will show grace, for how many times have I messed up and required myself to ask for forgiveness?
You see, we live in a time where our marriages and relationships do not last due to pride and the inability to convey our feelings in such a way, even if it is difficult. We aren’t honest anymore, we aren’t lucid anymore, and we aren’t willing to share the innermost thoughts and feelings that we have due to fears that only one can attest too. This form of miscommunication leaves a grey area; a grey area for chaos to ensue, which is what is happening in relationships all around.
Assumptions, lack off words, and so forth can all cause the bridge to collapse under the wight of the flames, but what if we just stepped back and waited for the answers? Rather than saying anything at all, why don’t we just be silent and wait for the words to arrive? This is what we are not used to; being still and to staying a word. Everyone has to say something, everyone has to speak at every moment, and everyone has to get there two cents in, bur what about waiting?
Waiting for someone to speak?
Waiting to listening?
Waiting for someone to be ready?
Waiting for the bridge to repair rather than calling it a lost cause with gasoline?
We live in a society where instead of listening with the intent of listening, we listen with the intent of replying, which is something that destroys relationships. Though you can talk for hours on end, are they truly listening, for it is better so speak just a few words than a thousands, for a person will listen to a few words more than a person who hears the most. Though you can continuously speak until your face is blue, it does not mean that one is taking to heart what you are saying, for while they seem to care, it could be a surface level care that many are accustomed too.
Therefore, why aren’t we waiting to speak and where did the art of waiting well go? Forgiveness and patience go hand and hand, for it takes a patient heart to be willing to forgive, for everyone will do us wrong, and sometimes, it takes a long time for one to realize such a wrongdoing. Sometimes, it takes a child a season to realize why their parents were right. Other times, it takes a husband or a wife a day or two to finally realize why his wife or her husband was upset. Many times, it takes us humans awhile to finally realize why the other was acting the way they were; therefore, let us be like the prodigal son’s father and wait for them, for Christ waited for them as they were blind to their sin that caused Him to die.
Each of us have to make a choice; a choice to either follow Him or not. However, the Lord waits for us to make such a decision that has an impact on eternity and He does to rush us. What if the Lord rushed to judgement and said “They aren’t worth dying for” rather than waiting on the will of the Lord? What if the Lord stopped giving us grace rather than waiting for us to realize our sin that placed Him on the cross? What if the Lord treated us as we treat others?
We would all be doomed with no form of grace to save us.
However, that is why we are commanded to love as Christ, for we are no better than one another other. We all have placed Christ on the cross with our sin, and rather than write off relationships, let us forgive, restart, and repair the bridge rather than burning it, for if Christ did didn’t burn a bridge to us, who are we to burn a bridge to each other.
““I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake;
And I will not remember your sins.”” Isaiah 43:25
Forgiveness is a beautiful thing that shows the deepest form of love, and while it is not easy due to it requiring one to swallow their pride, it is a beautiful thing. Therefore, I choose to wait well, I choose to be like the father of the prodigal son and wait with open arms to anyone, and I choose to not ask questions, to not use the past as a blackmail for the future, but to start off on a repaired bridge, for if Christ remembers my sins no more, then I don’t remember their’s either.
This is not only the recipe to a beautiful marriage, but it is also a good one for any relationships that yearns to thrive within the times we live in; a time where we believe in “self-love and cutting off people who don’t service us.” In the end, no one is perfect and everyone is going to hurt you in some way due to being imperfect human beings. However, it is up to us to forgive them when they yearn to ask for forgiveness, but how can they ask for such forgiveness if they believe you’d burned that bridged by not waiting and jumping to closing the door on grace?
We need to learn not only from the prodigal son, but from his father’s response as well. Most importantly, we need to be more like Christ; steadfast, patient, and at the exact place where we left them. If Christ can be found right where we left off, then we should be with others. there is a read why Lamentations is my favorite book of the Bible, for while Jerusalem deserved the flames, His mercies were still new every morning and His compassions never fail. Therefore, though some might so call “deserve” things, may we not think this way, but rather have mercy that never ending and compassion that is overflowing.
If we ever want to love as He loved, if we ever want to have strong relationships built on the foundation of Christ, and if we ever want to help each other through problems, we have to love through the fire with forgiving hearts that do not only forgive once, but fortune 100 times over if they have too.
Therefore, that is what I choose to do; to have my arms open to forgiveness, to wait for them, to love them, to pray for them, and to forgive them 100 times and more, for if the Lord loves me like so, then I shall love them just the same.
“I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ’
“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.” Luke 15:18-24