Forgive Even Your Feelings
Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent
Scriptural Readings: Daniel 3:25, 34-43; Psalm 25:4bc-5ab, 6+7bc, 8-9; Matthew 18:21-35
My dear encountered couples:
Frightening, isn’t it? “My heavenly Father will treat you in exactly the same way unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.” Jesus is referring to the unforgiving servant who was handed over to torturers because he wouldn’t forgive others as he was forgiven.
Have you been forgiving people from your heart lately? How about your nephew Peter who didn’t even send you a Christmas card this past Christmas? And you sent him a check for twenty-five dollars. How about your friend Shelley who moved here to your very own town last year and still hasn’t gotten in touch with you? Remember when you were sick and, in the hospital, last June? Rebecca never came! And you visited her every other day when she was sick.
Have you forgiven all these from your heart? Not easy, is it? It certainly isn’t easy to forgive those who designed the income tax forms. No, forgiveness ain’t easy. Some people can’t even forgive anyone who says “ain’t”. Easy or not – we must forgive.
Feelings often refuse our commands. They resist us. We may be obsessed with feelings of anger and revenge. But forgiveness is with our wills. If you sincerely will to forgive, sincerely want to forgive, then you are forgiving. Bad feelings might remain. You might struggle to rid yourself of them. But they are not what Jesus is talking about.
The heck with how you feel. Put up with the bad feelings. Just don’t give into them. Forgive, and get on with your friendship, get on with good relationships.