This week, I came to terms with my ugly self and the terrible desires of my heart. I learned that I’m not as good at forgiveness as I thought. I realized that I have a lot more to learn about love before I could ever say I’ve fulfilled my calling. In it all, I came to see that sometimes I need to erase the past and start fresh.
There is this hurt that I have. I’m not going to say exactly what it was or who hurt me, but it was very painful. Over a year ago, I struggled with this incident and thought that I had become free. After all, I could laugh about the person and the hurt that he had caused. I seriously thought that I had forgiven him. But then I realized that even though I could laugh, the hurt was still eating at my current relationships, the way I view myself and that person, and what I think of certain people because I hadn’t really ended it and started fresh.
Recently, God has been convicting me that I am not loving enough. I hold grudges and refuse to allow people the privilage of a fresh start in my heart. The worst thing is that I rarely recognize this flaw at all.
The other day, I was extremely mad. I got angry at a lot of people who had nothing to do with the situation as well as the person who hurt me. None of it was necessary though. Nothing new had transpired. I was only drowning in the anger of an unforgiving heart. I hadn’t truly ended what I needed to end.
God calls us to a life of love. The two greatest commandments are to love Him and to love others. If we do these two things, we are fulfilling the rest of the law. Forgiveness is a part of that love. Starting fresh is part of that, too. The world tells us that revenge is satisfying, but God tells us that vengeance is His. Our hearts tell us that we should hate, but God calls us to live a life of love. He pulls us away from all bitterness, brawling, anger, and slander, as much as our humanity tells us to give in. God desires that we overcome evil with good, instead of repaying evil with evil. If we truly want to love God and love others, we need to give second chances and start fresh everyday.
But anger is still alive and well. I have no solution to erase it completely. The only healthy thing to do with anger is to accept it. That’s what I did. I wrote a letter and told that person how mad I was at him. But then, I destroyed it and started fresh with a letter of love.
I’ll be the last person to tell you that all of this was easy. On the contrary, true love is a battlefield, real forgiveness is like forgetting a grudge from a war, and sincere friendship can be a constant torture of the two. It was hard to forgive. It’s almost impossible to erase the past and start from the beginning.
But with God, anything is possible. He makes all things good. Yes, friendship is difficult, but it is also wonderful. Love is hard, but we reap the greatest rewards through true love. Forgiving someone is like fighting a war, but just like a real battle, there is freedom when you finish. And because of Christ, starting fresh is an option.
Today, I’m going back to square one and starting fresh. It definitely isn’t easy, but I’ve never felt better. Forgiveness is freedom. Love is beauty. Friendship is peace. I’ve overcome evil with good and it is amazing.