Forgiveness… We need to clear this one up. Like a lot of spiritual concepts, we have this one backwards as a culture.
What’s the first thing you think about when you hear the word forgiveness? I’m guessing it has something to do with fawning submissiveness. Maybe you think forgiveness as being the stuff adopted by a push-over, a weakling, etc.
Today, I’d like to show you a new kind of forgiveness. A forgiveness that’s more courageous than any act of meanness, intolerance, or hatred. A forgiveness that’s ballsy, brazen, bold – whatever adjective makes you feel awesome when using it, this is the one you should choose when thinking about this new brand of forgiveness.
One of the truest tests of forgiveness is when we stand before someone who falsely accuses us of something.
How do you react when that happens?
The old way says to stand up for yourself. To fight back. To escalate.
But what if, in the face of this, you were to… just stand there? Not like a whipped puppy, but like a damn God or Goddess, smiling and unperturbed?
How incredible would this be?
You’d be God-like. No joke.
“Thy gentleness hath made me great.” Psalm 18:35
To forgive doesn’t mean to be indifferent to those who do us wrong. It’s way bigger than this.
Think of the word ‘forgive’ as ‘give-for’. To give some actual good in return for evil given as Emilie Cady says in her classic, Lessons in Truth.
When someone slaps you in the face, you don’t just crawl over and sob in the corner. No, no, no, spiritual warrior. You’re God-like, remember?! You were born with the forgiveness powers of God herself.
When someone slaps you in the face, you wipe the blood of your cheek (damn, that was a hard slap), let out a hearty laugh, and then return the exchange by the biggest, warmest bear hug (not the wrestling-type of bear hug) you can muster.
How. Awesome. Would this be to be able to do?
I mean, isn’t this the point of strength? So we can rise above our smallness and insecurities? So we can exercise gentleness without insecurity?
I’m certainly not there yet, but I know it’s possible.
You may think you don’t have a forgiveness problem. You may believe that you don’t have an enemy in the world.
If this is you, I ask you to monitor your judgements. If you find yourself with any iota of “served-him-rightness” in your psyche (I sure as hell do), you, my friend, could use a shift in the idea of forgiveness.
Because hatred, violence, and greed never have the last word. Not when forgiveness is in the room.
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