the struggle of forgiveness

I don’t struggle with resentment or bitterness.  Those two things can waltz into my heart without much of a fight.  They seem almost like a natural fit… a natural response to wrong.  Retaliation seems like the easy desire.  Retribution seems like the simple reaction.  I don’t have to be trained in resentment.  It flows from me when I’ve been wronged.  I don’t have to practice bitterness.  It wells up within in me without much endurance on my part at all.  I don’t need to work hard to be self-righteously angry.  It comes easy for me.

I do struggle with forgiveness and grace.  Those two things pierce my heart with a searing heat.  They seem almost like a heavenly pummel… a counter-cultural response to wrong.  Reconciliation seems like a hard desire.  Mercy seems like a difficult reaction.  I have to concentrate hard to offer forgiveness.  It strains against my first inclinations when I’ve been wronged.  I have to lay my pride aside to practice grace.  It pulls down my selfish indignations only through a divinely determined endurance.  I need to work hard to be forgiving and grace-full.  It doesn’t come easy for me.

But the struggle is better for me.

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