to forgive

Many times in life, we are thrown into chaos.  The death of a family member, maybe a physical or mental sickness, the loss of a job can all take us into chaos.  Love delivers us from that chaos.  Love doesn’t necessarily put food on the table but it moves us to the point of security and clarity.  A lot of times when we are in chaos we are experiencing an inner pain.  There are times in our lives where we allow this inner pain to fester so much that it begins to govern our actions and thoughts.

Fits of rage, being withdrawn, and selfishness are all elements of lasting inner pains.  These pains can never really be satisfied without accepting them and forgiving the root cause of them.  Forgiveness releases us from chaos.  It takes us out of the place where there is bondage.

I love that in the gospel story of the four guys who carry their paralyzed friend to the presence of Jesus, He forgives the man of his sins before he heals him.  There is an understanding that before this man can be physically healed, he must be spiritually set free.  He needs to be forgiven.

Forgiveness reminds us that we no longer need to be defined by the past.  It reminds us that we don’t need to carry the weight of the guilt that defines us.  Practicing forgiveness is a simple reminder that we can be set free.  There are a lot of times in the gospels that Jesus addresses the topic of prayer.  A lot of the times Jesus talks about the need to forgive others before we pray.  It makes sense.  How can we beg for something that we are not willing to give to others?  Maybe Jesus just wants us to experience leading someone out of chaos before he can lead us out of our bondage.

This week, may you practice the seventh element of love by forgiving others and yourself.  May you help others walk out of chaos and into clarity; may you be set free in the process.

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