I was recently caught up in a quagmire, where I struggled to process an emotion! From my previous blogs, you will know that I am big on the virtues forgiveness and love. I’d like to think that grace is the link between forgiveness and love. To show unmerited favor (grace), one would need to possess love. Hence, my confusion had to do with how it was possible to forgive and remain angry/bitter at the same time! Interestingly, I hadn’t considered the word bitterness till my friend brought it up. This was an emotion I’d experienced and dealt with in 2019 but alas, it seemed the tip of it’s root had been uncovered and I couldn’t be more grateful for deep conversations!
To pardon/excuse (forgive) an individual does not necessarily mean you have actually let go of the pain or hurt. In fact, it may seem that the act of forgiveness is not enough! I know that sounds insane if you’re thinking about a wrong done to you but stay with me! Have you witnessed a mother’s love? Quite unfathomable how a mother will dig to the lowest depths to find a reason or ray of hope for a missing child! Quite like the father of the prodigal son in the Bible who could receive his lost son with arms wide open because he kept hope alive! In fact, it is of no surprise that the greatest gift one may possess is love; to see people beyond any perceived shortcomings (present and/or past) and to see what their best versions might look like (their true identity). That sounds like hope! That sounds like a better day to look forward to and that requires grace!
Now, back to the story of the prodigal son. It’s often been asked- what about the other son? He had stayed with his father and had never been celebrated like the lost son who had squandered his inheritance. Another concept recently introduced to me by my friend was ‘self-righteousness’. To me, self-righteousness feels like a need for an apology for a wrong done to someone else. In fact, it’s even worse when the person has already been forgiven for the act. The more I think about it, the more the concept of grace makes sense to me. I read an article that defined grace as the act of receiving something and passing it on to others in order that one’s environment begins to change drastically! I thought it was profound! Imagine actively contributing to someone’s growth and success after identifying the need! And imagine if that person brought change to his/ her environment. Is that not something to live for?
Are we limiting love? Share your thoughts below!!!