“As we forgive others”

Forgiveness

Thursday it was a challenge.   I attended a meeting outside of church.  Prior to going, I had decided that I would practice my Lenten discipline of listening, more than speaking.   I thought that should be easy. Usually I am a good listener.  I was doing well until we broke into small groups and one person began to dominate the conversation.  I would have appreciated the one-way conversation if I had heard clear, wise, helpful  ideas.  But the whole time I listened, I kept thinking, “this is not valuable to me. This person is too self-absorbed to help me.” As I listened,  I began to realize the hardness of my own heart towards another’s life journey.

Since that conversation, I have been wondering if that might not be how God hears many of my prayers, as self-absorbed drivel.  There are times when I pour out the deepest parts of my heart to God, but too often it is the superficial complaints of a spoiled child.  Still God promises to be gracious to me, to listen and uphold me, to seek my presence.  Can I not do that with another?   Can I simply be gracious and attentive to God’s children around me?

The heart of the Lord’s Prayer speaks volumes for my relationship with others.  Forgive me my sins as I forgive those who sin against me.    Yesterday I discovered once again how challenging it is to love my neighbor as God has loved me.  Yet I am forgiven and can start fresh today.

What does forgiving others mean for you?

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