“Forgiveness is the act of applying your undeserved mercy to your undeserved hurts. You didn’t deserve to be hurt, but neither did you deserve to be forgiven. Being the recipient that you are of God’s great grace, does it not make sense to give your grace to others?”- Max Lucado
“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.”- John 13:14-15 (NKJV)
Max Lucado concludes Chapter 10 of How Happiness Happens as he stresses that our hearts can harden while we aren’t watching. But, Pastor Lucado asks, are you going to let your hurt harden and numb you? Wouldn’t it be better to act in a tenderhearted and forgiving manner? Max provides six steps.
1. Decide what you need to forgive. Get specific and narrow it down to the identifiable offense. Calling someone a jerk is too general.
2. Ask yourself why it hurts. Do your best to figure out if you feel betrayed, isolated, or ignored. Once you find the answer — and before you take it out on the offender . . .
3. Take it to Jesus. Talk to Jesus until you feel your anger begin to subside. When it returns, talk to Jesus again. Furthermore, Max underscores, if it feels safe, at some point . . .
4. Tell your offender. File your complaint with a clear head and pure motives. Simply explain the offense and how it makes you feel. However, no guarantee exists that grace triumphs. Whether or not it does, your next step is to . . .
5. Pray for your offender. Offer intercession. Because prayer reveals any grudge that still lingers. And if you find it difficult to give grace, ask Jesus to help you.
6. Conduct a funeral. Certainly, Max counsels, he doesn’t mean to bury the memory in the sense of suppressing it. Yet, you gain something when you take the memory, place it in a shoebox, and bury it. Then, shed one final tear.
Today’s question: What Scriptures help you in applying your undeserved mercy to your undeserved hurts? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Agape love forgives, offers patience, extends kindness”