This wrangles with our pride: people presuming they: 1) know what’s going on for us in our experience; 2) think they know what we are thinking; 3) can give us advice when perhaps we just don’t need it. Yet, such a pride is veiling the truth. Some people are out of step with how to discern and deliver upon love. For, love has as its precursor – the other person and what they need. Love is not about the person doing the loving; it’s all about the object of the affections – the subject before each one of us.
But the reality of this life is harsh. We are likely to need to suffer the fool gladly. That person is trying their best to love us, even if, in doing that, they transgress love.
We are to be full of grace. Yet such grace is nothing if not a miracle if it isn’t worked on incessantly for months and months and months.
Character growth is always a slow process. Particularly in the processes of ‘sandpaper ministry’, as we rub each other up the wrong way we tend to say things that people find hard to bear; they say things that we find, equally, that grate.
And, yet, few of us would perturb others deliberately.
When Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing,” he prayed such a relevant prayer that finds itself pertinent in many of our situations.
We often do not know in the moment of our transgressions what our transgressions are or how they affect those impinged. We know this is true by the amount of times others put their foot in it, when it comes to us, without wishing to.
Grace comes into its own when we find that we are no longer irritated by the ignorant offerings of the uninformed.
If we are to forgive the common person their common transgression we will find ourselves being forgiven.
As we forgive the situations that seem to thwart us – as we are given to a moment’s surreal sense in the sweeping tide of temptation to anger – we are practicing such a God-anointed character trait. It’s no good trying hard to our own exasperation. It’s myriads better to contemplate really feeling love toward those we have forgiven.
Forgiving a transgression with understanding is like a prayer to receive that same understanding when we are the transgressor.
Forgiveness understands the common human frailty and extends the wisdom of God in making such wisdom personally accessible.
Forgiveness, hence, is the wisdom of God, so those who forgive borrow righteousness.
Forgiveness is the wisdom of God. Resentment is the bitterness of humanity’s folly.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.