“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” – Mark Twain
How do you forgive someone…I mean, really forgive?
Are we mandated to just “forgive and forget” as if we were never offended…damaged…betrayed…broken?
Well, the truth is that we were not made to have to even fathom the concept of forgiveness since we were made to live in The Garden…in perfection.
We were not made for this world with its viciousness and filth. But, of course, we do live in a fallen and sinful world where predators prey on the most innocent among us. So, how do we forgive?
Just like the violet, we’ve been crushed – the fragrance that comes from us after that “crushing” is not determined by how we feel about the “heel” that crushed us, but instead by the choice to be the opposite of that “heel”.
I choose to look at forgiveness this way: As long as I let my anger, resentment, hatred, fear…etc. consume me, I am still controlled by the one who offended me. I choose to work through my grief, yes, but not allow my focus to be on the offender, but rather to be on my own healing.
Because hatred toward another, no matter what the offense will always damage us more than them.
I’m trying to master this myself and am by no means there yet, but I do long for the day when the actions of others – past and present – don’t consume my thoughts, control my emotions or steal my peace and joy.
Forgiveness just means letting go by a choice of the will.
It doesn’t mean condoning or enabling; Instead, it’s an understanding that a God is far more capable than we are to deal with the offender, and we can’t possibly focus on revenge or retribution…or even carrying a grudge, and properly focus on healing at the same time.
Forgiveness means freedom because the freedom is for the violet…not the heel that’s left covered in the fragrance like a constant reminder.
The truth is that forgiveness isn’t about the offender; it’s about the one who is wounded. To “forgive and forget” is a phrase mistakenly used to describe how we should look at the one who has offended us. Instead, I believe it’s an attitude of mental, emotional and spiritual freedom that allows us to “forget” in the sense that the offense neither defines us nor controls us.
The beauty of forgiveness is that it allows us to fully function in the rhythms of God’s grace.
And by that grace we can heal and live in the freedom – the way we were created to live.
Because we were not created to have to forgive (we were made to live in fellowship with God and man in The Garden) it is a truly supernatural act – we are never more like our Creator than when we function in His power…
And I just believe it makes God smile to see us live in such freedom.
Choosing to forgive is a choice to not live beneath your privilege, but instead to just be free!