Sunday, January 9, 2011

Resent or Forgive?

If I asked you to name five total fools that annoy you on a regular basis, I suspect you would have decent momentum going by the time you got to the fifth person. Then when more names come flooding in, you might have to trade in some of the names for the first five spots. It is effortless to come up with names of people that repeatedly do things wrong, aggravate us and make us feel a bit better about ourselves from just observing their lifestyle.
If I ask you to list five people that you have forgiven for something minor, would you come up with names as quickly? Would you even need to figure out who deserves the first five spots on the list?

What does this say about us? Are we judgmental, horrible people?

No, we are not. We just need to change our perspective a tiny, tiny bit.

My opinion is, when we shift our thinking about what forgiveness in this example is, we realize we forgive much more than we judge!!! We just do it so naturally, we don’t appreciate the kind, caring, compassionate people we really are.

Think of a gap of time in your routine when there is a lot of interaction with people, even strangers.
Think of all the opportunities you have to resent these people; the possibilities are endless
· Dishes in the sink
· Crumbs on the counter
· Socks, enough said
· Traffic
· Parking lots
· Navigating your shopping cart in a store
· Any form of media

When you think about it – we have reasons to resent people all day long!
Let’s say you came up with ten examples of resent able infractions by your fellow human beings in a one hour time period. Given your normal routine, how many of these things would have actually prompted you to really hold resentment? If your answer is one, that means you decided to forgive nine times, only resented someone once and are much better at forgiving than you realized.

So, I ask again. List five people you have forgiven for something minor. With this tiny change in perspective, I imagine the list of people comes very easily now.