The Choice to Forgive

15 Oct

“Any married man should forget his mistakes. there’s no use in two people remembering the same thing.” ~ Anonymous

 

Perhaps you’ve heard the story about the parrot?Parrot head

A woman bought a parrot for a pet. All the parrot did was treat her bad. It insulted her and every time she tried to pick it up, it would peck at her arm. One day she got fed up with the parrot and as it was insulting her,  she picked it up. It continued with the insults ~ “You’re ugly! I can’t stand you!” and it pecked at her arm as she carried it.

She opened the freezer door and threw him in and closed the door. From inside, the parrot was still going on for about 5 seconds and then it was suddenly quiet. The woman thought, “Oh no, I killed it!”

She open the door and the parrot just looked at her. She picked it up. Then the parrot said:

“I’m very sorry. I apologize for my bad behavior and promise you there will be no more of that. From now on, I will be a respectful, obedient parrot.”

“Well, OK,” she said. “Apology accepted”.

The parrot said, “Thank you,” but then added, “Can I ask you something?”

She said, “Yes. What?”

And the parrot looked at the freezer and asked, “What did the chicken do?”

In any relationship, especially marriage, forgiveness is crucial.

Forgiveness:

  • allows a person to be human and make mistakes, never to be brought up again or become a wall between them;
  • accepts sincere sorrow and regret over mistakes and offenses ~ clearing the air, it does not blame;
  • releases another when they don’t meet our expectations;
  • is more concerned about healing scars of bad behavior than continuously picking at the scab of offense; and
  • is based in vulnerability and openness.

Forgiveness is an act of love ~ a gentle response rather than thoughts of revenge or prideful superiority. Forgiveness is the choice to “forget.”

Forgiveness does not excuse. Rather, it extends a hand of grace.

The Bible has a lot to say about forgiving others:

  • Proverbs 17:9 ~ He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
  • Matthew 6:14 ~ “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
  • Matthew 18:21-22, 35 ~ Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”  Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times…. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”
  • Colossians 3:13 ~ Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
  • Mark 11:25 ~ “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Forgiveness is embodied in the “Love Chapter” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a).

Of course, the greatest “Forgiver” of all is God (Psalm 86:5; Acts 13:38; 1 John 1:9; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:13-14; Hebrews 8:12).

Thank God for His perfect forgiveness today, and think about your relationships. Does your level of forgiveness please the Father?

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