As I grew up “Sorry is not good enough” is something I sometimes heard. Occasionally when I made a mistake the line was trotted out. I had to prove I was sorry but how do you prove you are sorry when you have not yet been forgiven? So is sorry good enough?
Forgiveness is something I have written about before but it has been pointed out to me that maybe I have been literal in my wording. There are times in everyone’s life (or at least I believe a lot of people’s lives) where forgiveness feels just too hard, where forgiveness may only break me further.
So please let me make it clear to all, forgiveness is hard! Forgiveness does not remove consequences; forgiveness does not remove hurt and pain; forgiveness is not a reset button.
But what is forgiveness then? When you are cut you bleed, you lose a little part of yourself, sometimes more blood flows and it feels like or is like you will not survive. Then the pain comes, the hurt. With time healing begins. Forgiveness is like the bandage, it is part of the healing process and helps towards a greater chance of healing. But when the healing process is done the area of skin is never quite the same. Sometimes the skin will look perfect, nothing to suggest anything happened. Other times a scar is left behind, a reminder of the hurt and the pain. You may no longer feel the physical pain but that doesn’t mean mentally the pain just seeps away. And what about the one who cut you? They are left with their own mental scars and this physical worlds consequences be that be time out, prison etc. This is far from a new concept but is a beautiful way to remember and understand that everyone bears scars just not all are visible.
I am far from perfect; I know that, God knows it and everyone I meet knows that I am not perfect. I sin, I make mistakes and on occasion despite my best intentions I hurt people and God.
Godly forgiveness is perfect because He is perfect. Jesus gave his life to make perfect forgiveness. But I am human, my forgiveness is messy and complicated. I strive for godly and often have to settle for mess. So please accept me for who I am and know “sorry is good enough” but that doesn’t mean I am not bearing all the scars.
I am battle weary and tired. My body is bearing fresh wounds as I struggle to stand upright.
I pray Lord that you forgive those who have wronged me. Your love and forgiveness are perfect, please help me to strive for this perfection.
Lord give me the strength to forgive those I name. I often fail but I know that you bear witness to my struggle and trying.
But Lord I am not perfect either. Father, I have sinned in thought, word and deed against you and my neighbour. Father forgive me.
I am covered in the war wounds of life. Some have made me stronger, some still make me weak. Lord let me lean upon you in my weakness and I pray that when I am strong I am the companion to your lost sheep.
In Jesus’ name I pray.