Practicing Forgiveness

†† I knew a woman who could not forgive. She had a list of wrongs her husband had done going back over 20 years to the very first day of the marriage.Her husband did not know there was a list.She acknowledged that in many cases he could not know that he had done something wrong. She also had lists against other people she had encountered in one way or another.


†† Armed with these lists she was able to build walls.For example, the walls kept her husband from getting too close.No matter what he did, things never got better because the list never got smaller.If he did well it just meant new things were not added to the list.However, the list did not diminish and the wall remained.It was a bad relationship and never had a chance.††


†† The walls, although erected because of other people, colored how she saw herself and her place in the world.


†† Proverbs says, ďA brother offended is more difficult than a fortified city1Sometimes when people are offended, they build walls of protection.All too often the walls change over time from walls that protect to walls that entrap the builder.


†† More than halfway through her life she realized that she was wrong and had to practice forgiveness.It was not easy but she began to examine each infraction and forgive.In time she found that her marriage changed from a source of hurt to a source of joy.Her husband went from being a monster to being a good guy.People she had avoided were no longer a threat.Her confidence grew, she became more content and felt that she belonged.


†† All these positive changes but, the only thing that really changed was that she began to practice forgiveness.

1. Proverbs 18:19






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