With the freedom to fail,
And the courage to pass,
That’s where relationships sail,
Because forgiveness is class.
The journey to forgiveness is sprinkled with many merciful advances of trust. Forgiveness is courage one day, freedom the next.
The Courage In Forgiveness
When we forego our desires for satisfaction so another person can have another chance, it involves courage. The only proviso is the brand of our submission: when we decide for forgiveness, rather than ‘meekly’ submit like a doormat, as if we had no choice, our faith that advocates for the relationship is ushered, from courage, to the forefront.
This is a beautiful moral courage, not the stoic physical courage we normally associate to bravery.
To actually decide to enter the discomfort and even pain, when it’s the right thing to do, when it would be just as easy to choose the comfortable option requires courage.
And it is courage all the more when we consider such a decision usually needs to be made over and over and over again. Forgiveness, on a relational plane, is rarely a one-off event. Real courage sees decisions for forgiveness meted out consistently. It’s like we have made the resolve with ourselves over this issue, one requiring a journey, and faith is that journey’s sponsor.
Forgiveness is a risk for the relationship. Where the relationship has still a chance, forgiveness goes ahead for it.
When Courage Opens The Way To Freedom
The more we sow into courage the more freedom we afford for ourselves. This is both a ‘now’ and a ‘to-be-experienced-later-on’ reality.
We experience the absence of conflicted feelings when we have decided in faith to think and act a certain forgiving way. There comes to us a special kind of resolved peace. Our extension of grace, which is usually quite unexpected on the other’s behalf, gives the other person freedom, and both they and we experience the majesty within the workings of vibrant grace.
Later on, as we watch things unfold, and also reflect, we thank God for the strength and initiative to issue grace in such difficult circumstances. A more objectified freedom comes as a result, which is a strange kind of subjective blessing.
Forgiveness requires courage yet it rewards us with freedom. It qualifies us as obedient to God, and both parties can be blessed as a result. Forgiveness is trust that begets trust, and respect that begets respect.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.