I know I promised another book review for this post but I want to slip in a personal lesson I recently learned. At the Ash Wednesday service at my church our pastor’s sermon was about some of the things we Christians do during the Lenten season. He mentioned that a common sacrifice for Catholics, he was one as a child, was to not eat meat. Other people try to give up things like chocolate, special foods, TV and such.
But pastor suggested something entirely different. Why not try to live out part of the Lord’s prayer and truly forgive someone who has wronged you in the past! I think we all, I am definitely included in this group, have negative baggage associated with past relationships. Mine includes a close family member. I have never been quite able to put some things that occurred as I was growing up behind me. Although I have “sort” of forgiven the person, their wrongs frequently creep into my thoughts. I am going to try and do everything I can to remedy that condition the next forty days.
Lord help me to truly forgive those who have sinned against me in my thoughts as well as my actions. I need the strength that you constantly provide me to accomplish this task. Jesus Christ made the ultimate sacrifice by dying for humanity’s sins so surly I can do this.
Thanks Pastor for putting this on my Lenten to do list.
One thought on “Sacrifices for Lent?”
The difficulty comes when the person you are seeking reconciliation with has become hardened by your hardness and is not willing to reconcile. How does one forgive someone who will neither apologize nor even accept any attempts? Sometimes, in those situations, forgiveness must be done in our minds, but unfortunately cannot be done in words. That is, we can still forgive the person, whether they are aware of it or not. Much better is the spoken forgiveness, for the one wronged as well as the one doing the wrong. In the case of someone who refuses to reconcile, it might be good to voice your forgiveness to them as you picture them in your mind. Otherwise known as “fake it to make it.” Just like the person who for years tells himself that he is dumb, clumsy, etc. Pretty soon, that person comes to believe that self-talk. In cognitive therapy, the person is then coached to change that talk into “I am a good person.” For some people, that’s a difficult statement to make. So it is with forgiveness. Indeed our hurts from past offenses may be real. We have for years told ourselves we are justified in feeling offended. Now, we must change our thinking by speaking forgiveness, even though they may not hear it. Try saying “I forgive her (or him)” five times a day.