Libby Baker Sweiger

Weaver of Everyday Tales

Forgive Quickly!

momvideo20“Life is short, Break the Rules.
Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY.
Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably
And never regret ANYTHING
That makes you smile.”
― 
Mark Twain

I love this quote by Mark Twain! I love all of it, but something has really hit me recently about it. Forgive quickly! That is so profound! This was a policy in my family of origin, with my brothers and sister above, that my mother strictly enforced. My parents had parted ways and it was too exhausting for my mom to be settling a lot of squabbling, and certainly grudge holding among us would be way too much. My dad, who saw us faithfully every weekend and lots in the summer and holidays, felt the same way. Bickering was to be expected at times with four kids and when my sister Sara came along five ~ but grudge holding and bitterness was not to be tolerated. The Bible’s directive “not to let the sun go down on your anger” was strictly encouraged!

What are the consequences of not forgiving quickly? I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I have come to this daring conclusion: the stress of holding onto bad feelings defies any justification for having them!

I know this is logic and common sense talking. But what about at the time of the impact of anger and bad feeling? Well you are right…at the time you are not forgiving someone your emotions are in gear, not your brain. Or you might say the brain is slightly engaged, just enough to give you the pseudo-logic you need to justify your actions. Something is running through your head like this: “Well I am not really angry at so and so, and even if I were — they got me into a terrible mess — therefore, I am right to (ignore them), (withdraw my attention, or friendship), or whatever else you have done. You supply the wording in parentheses!

All this mental and emotional maneuvering is taxing to your system. It wears you out. We were designed to be true and genuine. We were meant by our Creator to be honest with ourselves and direct and honest with others. Anything else, any other way of behaving doesn’t do us justice, hurts our fellow human beings, and what we seem to forget damages our psyche, our bodies, our minds and crushes our spirit.

God knows this. This is why He tells us to forgive. It isn’t a suggestion, it’s a commandment and part of the Lord’s Prayer. “Dear Father who art in Heaven, forgive us our sins, and forgive those who sin against us.” Who is suppose to? Well yes God is supposed to forgive us, but we are clearly to forgive others, Jesus answers the disciple who asked him how many times to forgive ~ 70 x’s 7 or unlimited times. Just keep forgiving!

I don’t think God asks this of us because it’s difficult, just to make our lives hard, but rather because forgiveness sets us free! It sets us free from the smallness of our natures, the crippling effects of bitterness and the painful torment of a conscience that knows it has been forgiven many, many times, yet is sitting in judgment of a beloved sister, brother, friend.

So as for me I have made  a commitment and decision to love more and forgive more quickly in 2013 and for the rest of my life! How about you?

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4 thoughts on “Forgive Quickly!

  1. Aww Lovely Libby… FORGIVENESS!!! Like you know, our Heavenly Father dealt & continues to deal with this with me!! I m so thankful He does, not only for all the reasons you have mentioned above, but also for the fact that if we do not forgive , we will not be forgiven! God knows best & sooner or later we all will learn that! Blessings & Love!

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  2. Mary, my friend ~ the verse you are referring to I believe is: Matthew: 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” NAS ~ The study of this verse in the Concordance in conjunction with the verse I refer in my blog which has the Lord’s prayer (also called the Disciple’s Prayer in Matthew 6: 9-13) states this: The problem raised by the conditional nature of this petition for forgiveness may be explained as follows: In the fully developed doctrine of Christian Salvation there are two areas of Divine Forgiveness. The first area is that of the forgiveness that comes to the sinner at the time of Justification, and deals with the guilt of his sins in a total sense. (Ephesians 1:7) To this forgiveness, there is attached but one condition, i.e. to receive it once for all by faith in Christ. (Romans 4:5-8)

    The second area of forgiveness (which my blog was about) covers the relation of the Divine Father to those who have become His children and deals specifically with the matter of fellowship whenever it is broken by sin (or in the case of my blog, lack of forgiveness which is sin). To obtain such forgiveness we must confess and forsake the sin. (I John 1:9; compare Psalm 66:18 and Proverbs 28:13.)

    The forgiveness mentioned here in the Lord’s Prayer belongs in this second area (Matthew 6:12), because it occurs in a prayer given to disciples of Christ (Matthew 5:2) who could call upon God as their Father (Matthew 6: 9, 26). The ultimate motive for forgiving our debtors (those who sin against us) is based upon the Grace of God, and appears later in the progress of revelation. (Ephesians 4:32) (Colossians 3:13).

    To sum all this all up: the first forgiveness is positional. It refers to our position in Christ and our relationship with God the Father and is once for all. The second forgiveness, which I discuss in my blog is relational. It has to do with our fellowship with God and our relationships with others.

    I hope this clarifies “Quickly Forgive!” Love you dear Mare!

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  3. What a beautiful way to start the new year! Such a great decision on how you want to live your life this year and all the ones beyond. We were never big on asking for forgiveness or apologizing in my family. I’ve tried to instill that in my children and myself, but we still have a long way to go. Thank you for being such a wonderful example, Libby!

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    • Mimi!!! I miss you so much since you moved ~ so glad you are only a comment or phone call or tweet away! It is a wonderful thing to instill in your children…you are such a good mom! I don’t know if I’m a good example yet, but as usual trying to pass along what I’m learning and thinking as you do too dear friend. Love you, Mimi! HUGS

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