Saturday, October 10, 2009

how do you know if you've forgiven?

how do you know you've forgiven someone? i ask myself that question a lot. periodically, i make a list of those who have offended or hurt me so that i can work towards forgiving them and freeing myself emotionally from the pain. over the years, there have been a few names or situations that have lingered on that list. despite all the praying and journaling and tears, i am just not sure if i've forgiven them, so they remain on the list until i'm sure.

it may sound silly, but i often ask myself this: if i were shopping in wal-mart (or wherever) and turned around and saw (insert name), how would i respond? would i be angry, upset, bothered, and perhaps avoid eye contact? or would i be calm, respectful, and maintain eye contact? if i can't in good conscience say the latter, then it's time to revisit the situation...as often as it takes. i tend to wear my heart on my sleeve so i can't fake it.

i may have to forgive someone multiple times for one offense, but i learned that's ok, too. i sometimes wonder if the biblical teaching of forgiving 70 x 7 means per person or per offense. =)

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