Sara Horn begins Chapter 5 (“When You’re the One Who’s Wrong”) of How Can I Possibly Forgive?, she reminds us that many of our hurts are legitimate. Sometimes, however, we are the ones in the wrong. We still desire to hold on to our grudges. It’s much easier to think about what “they” need to fix or change than it is to think about making changes in ourselves. As Sara explains, ” . . . we can become quite comfortable with the idea that it’s them and not us.”
Sara vividly remembers such a time when she was in first grade. Each student was working on a self-portrait. When the teacher praised the artistry of the boy sitting next to Sara and ignored her, Sara gave in to her frustration. Trading pictures with the boy, she took a brown crayon and put freckles everywhere, ruining the boy’s portrait.
Like that messy, ruined picture, our actions toward others can have the same devastating effect in our hearts if we aren’t careful. We don’t do ourselves or those around us any good when we refuse to take responsibility for our role in the situation. Instead we play the Blame the Other Guy Game. If we’re never sorry, Sara emphasizes, we’re never really responsible. If we refuse to apologize- or, at a minimum, won’t acknowledge our own sinful thoughts and actions- we miss out on fostering our own growth as well as a deeper understanding of others and ourselves.
Today’s question: When reflecting on your response to your ministry downsizing or vocation loss, what areas of change does the Lord bring to mind? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Venting versus talking”