Lent is a great time to not only seek God’s forgiveness, but to grant forgiveness to others, as well. When we seek God’s forgiveness, we make right our relationships with God. When we seek or give forgiveness to others, we make right our relationships with our neighbor. Seeking forgiveness from God seems much easier than seeking or giving forgiveness to others. Wouldn’t you agree?
When we seek forgiveness from God, we know that He hears us and is quick to forgive. For that, we express gratitude. Yet, we humans tend not to be so quick to seek and give forgiveness when it come to our fellow men. Sometimes, we hold back from seeking forgiveness from others because we fear rejection. That seems understandable, as no one likes rejection. However, we may never know if we are forgiven unless we ask.
Now, what’s our excuse for withholding forgiveness? Is the hurt too deep? The offense too great? Hmm…Did God have any qualifiers on His forgiveness of you when you sought it from Him? No! So, why aren’t you forgiving others like God forgives you?
In the Our Father, we recite, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive others.” Oh Lord, if that is how it is really done, then we are all in a big heap of trouble! That little word “as” is probably one of the most meaningful words we’ll ever utter. The implication that forgiveness of our sins, by God, will only be granted to the extent that we forgive others, should set us all on a path to change our ways.
God commanded us to love unconditionally, as He loves. To effectively love our neighbor, that means forgiving like God forgives. God never gives us more than we can handle. So, apparently it is well within our power to grant and seek forgiveness. This Lenten season make a point to forgive like God forgives and make right your relationships with your neighbor. Then when you seek the sacrament of Reconciliation, you won’t need to be concerned about that big word, “as.”
If you would like to purchase an autographed copy of my book, Adventures of Faith, Hope and Charity: Finding Patience, then click here.