Love forgives. It remains open. It loves no matter what. It connects us to one another. It gives everyone the space and understanding to grow and learn and become a better version of themselves. It meets everyone where they are emotionally and gives them what they need.
Being resentful severs us from giving and receiving love. It keeps the door closed. It breaks up relationships. It divides and creates an emotional hardness between two people. There isn’t much possibility for kindness, for softness, for gentleness. It creates a tough exterior to keep one another out. It could be the result of a betrayal, a breakup (whether the demise of a friendship or romantic relationship) or simply a result of someone being rude or unkind to us. It is when our demeanor towards someone becomes hardened.
Could you imagine a world where no one forgave anyone? We would all be alone! No one would have a friend. No one would have a happy marriage. No one would ever feel love and support. We would all hold bitter resentment towards each other and exchange just a few curt words when required. What a miserable existence that would be!
Lucky for us, a world like that doesn’t exist in all of its totality. People do forgive a thousand different types of grievances. There is a marginal recognition that no one is perfect and that we all make mistakes. But in some cases, there are some mistakes that are all too painful, that we sometimes feel it’s too difficult to forgive someone of those particular errors.
Forgiveness is healing. We’ve all heard that before; it’s nothing new. It’s a wonderful side affect of the act. It’s healing for the one that forgives and it’s also a new beginning for the one who committed the transgression. But the act of forgiveness, that’s a whole other ballgame. How do we forgive someone that created a deep emotional wound within us? It’s easy to say ‘Focus on the humanness of another and realize that we are all on a journey, that everyone makes mistakes’. But there are some wounds so deep that only the grace of God can heal them and likewise, the same goes for forgiveness.
Prayer is powerful. Prayer heals. In Week 5 ‘Love Does Not Insist On It’s Own Way’, we discussed that what we feed is what we grow. If forgiveness is healing and prayer is healing, then couldn’t it be true that if we feed prayer, we grow healing, and in effect see the fruit of forgiveness? Love isn’t about us. It’s about others. (Yes, it is important to love ourselves. Without self-love, we are unable to fully love others.) Love is mostly about stepping out of our ego and meeting others where they need us emotionally. It’s about being unconditional. It’s about loving others to help them. We humans are broken, hurt, mangled and we need one another to be loving towards each other. We need one another to set aside our egos. We need to stop reacting to one another and start responding. This world needs us to stop focusing on how things affect us and to start focusing on how we can be better for one another. Forgiveness is one way we can do that and prayer gives us the grace to forgive even the deepest of emotional wounds.
There may be some of you reading this that feel uncomfortable right now; prayer isn’t the norm in your life. We are all comfortable with what we know. But I can promise you, prayer is powerful. All we have to do is step out and ask God to help us. And when we do, our life changes in ways we could have never imagined. Seek prayer for the deepest of wounds and ask God to give you the grace to forgive. What’s the worst that can happen? That you tried? If we want to be love, no one can be excluded.
Change yourself, change your life and you will change the world. To receive this week’s self-studies for Love Is Not Resentful, follow Verge of Greatness on Instagram @v.of.g.