Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,
'Forgiveness Is Freedom'
Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times."
We all have our misguided reasons, our rationalizations for why we cannot forgive.
You have no idea how badly they hurt me. If I forgive them, I am condoning that behaviour. They don't deserve my forgiveness.
Forgiveness does not mean approving of someone else's bad behaviour. It does not mean we continue to allow someone to hurt us. It does not even mean we must continue in close relationship with someone.
Letting someone else off the hook simply means that we are unhooking ourselves from past pain. We turn that person, or the situation, over to God, and we get on with living our lives. In this verse Jesus tells us that we must forgive as many times as it takes for us to be free.
Examine your heart for areas where you are tethered to past pain. Forgiveness is not about the other person; it's about you. It's a gift of grace you give yourself. Whatever is holding you back, let it go today
Father Ed Bakker,
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne