How often does someone do something to you that gets you all riled up? As human beings without control over our passions it doesn’t take much for us to feel slighted, to feel like someone has done us wrong. And often times when we feel this way we hang on to it. “I can’t believe that that driver this morning cut me off like that… and then drove five miles per hour UNDER the speed limit!” “I’m so mad at Brian! I can’t believe that he had the nerve to question my work competence!” and so forth and so on.
And then, even though we hold on to these small offenses and wallow in them, we expect other people to forgive us should we make a mistake, or accidentally offend someone. And even more, we expect God to forgive us when we commit an offense against Him. St. John Climacus, the author of the well known Ladder of Divine Ascent has this to say:
Some labor and struggle hard to earn forgiveness, but better than these is the man who forgets the wrongs done to him. Forgive quickly and you will be abundantly forgiven. To forget wrongs is to prove oneself truly repentant, but to brood on them and at the same time to imagine one is practicing repetance is to act like the man who is convinced he is running when in fact he is fast asleep. (emphasis mine)
I think that this is a lesson that every single one of us should take to heart. If we expect forgiveness then we should first forgive, and not just in certain situations, but in every situation. I often tell people that I think that the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father) is the most dangerous prayer that we can pray, and mostly because of the line “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” In this prayer we are asking God to show mercy on us only to the same extent that we show mercy to others!
Anyways, I don’t really have much else to add to this thought, I just wanted to present it and let anyone who might read this think about it.
IC | XC
NI | KA