‘Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.’ Proverbs 10.12
It is amazing how we have the ability to stir up troublesome memories. An event may be long passed, but it is still easy to re-visit the painful memories and sometimes have imaginary conversations going over all the things we would like to have said at the time. We really are stirring up something that would far better be left alone. The opposite is love.
Love, we are told, covers over all wrongs. There may indeed be wrongs in your past, and whatever decision you may have made to forgive does not negate or rectify them. However, choosing to forgive means that you are no longer imprisoned by the past actions of others. When you re-visit these memories, you run the risk of getting back behind the bars yourself - but the opposite is love.
Forgiveness begins by receiving once again the love of God for you. This involves consciously taking time to revel in his profound, personal attentiveness and care for you. It is also about pondering all that you have been forgiven, and just how merciful God is to you. Then you are in a better position to consider those for whom you still feel a certain resentment – can you entrust them into the hands of God? This is not about belittling the wrong they have done, but it is about trusting God with the outcome and continuing to do so.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission