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Forgiveness (even when we don't wanna!)

I've really had forgiveness on my mind lately. It's something that I keep thinking about and dismissing, like maybe if I ignore it long enough, it will go away. Obviously, that hasn't worked.

There is a person in my life that I do not like. I have to put up with them because, lucky for me, they are pretty seriously entwined in my life, but I do not enjoy the role they play in my life. I keep thinking I have forgiven them for the pain they caused in my life, but then something happens, and I'm kicked right back into a fight, flight, or freeze mode. The situation makes me angry, then my response makes me angry, and it is an incredibly tiresome cycle.

I know I am guilty of some things that some may call unforgivable, especially to this person. But for me to declare someone else's actions unforgivable is very arrogant if you stop to put it into perspective. I am guilty of thinking things, saying things, doing things, that others would call unforgivable. The only saving grace for me is actual grace. The same grace that I should extend to this person. I am being stubborn about this, which is ridiculous. I know that I would be better off if I set some firm boundaries to protect myself and my kids, and ultimately forgive them. It would be a relief to my system to let it all go and lay down the burden of holding a grudge. It would be a relief to not react every time they pull some stunt that makes me crazy.

Ephesians 4:31-32 says, "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice and be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." If I am offered grace by the One who actually died for me, who am I to deny grace to another person?

Consider this: It's pretty common for people to hold a grudge about something. It may be about something as simple as someone finishing off the homemade salsa before you got any, or something more serious. What is one area in your life that you need to offer up some grace and let go of a grudge? How would it impact your nervous system and your life as a whole, if you made the decision to forgive someone who hurt you? Make a list if you need to and spend some time praying for help in letting go of your grudges.
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