Ever had someone cuss you out in a nonstop blue streak of the worst possible names?
I tell you, teachers put up with a lot. When I gave a kid (who was also rude and sassy) a low grade because zilch effort had gone into an assignment, his mother made an appointment with me.
I had a hunch what might lie ahead, so I asked both my administrator and a teaching peer to sit in on the conversation.
It was more like a confrontation. Every awful word in the book was screamed at me in front of those other two women. The young man passed my class and graduated but struggled for some years afterwards.
I avoided that woman for two years, but knew she’d be back in my life when I began teaching her daughter. I had to forgive. You can’t really forget, can you? So that simply means that the forgiveness happens over and over and kindness then has a chance to settle in.
The daughter turned out to be a lovely person and a very good student whom I helped get scholarships to a wonderful private university, from which she graduated in four years.
The mother did a complete reverse, thanking me for helping her daughter. I think she began to see that I was not a monster who had it in for her son.
However, I’ve got to tell you, it was hard seeing the mom. Deep breaths and prayer went into a lot of prep, along with a huge measure of forgiveness. After all, as the mom of four kids, I well know how one child can be so different than another.
But forgiveness is freeing. The anger and the hurt no longer have control over your emotions and your reactions. Forgiveness is for your health and your sanity. Yes, the other person may not deserve it, but with forgiveness we turn over the results and the payback to God.
In fact, forgiveness, friend, is the hallmark of the Christian faith. Forgiveness is the DIFFERENCE between our faith and any other. Jesus died for our own forgiveness. Thus, we are called to forgive others for the small measure of their offenses.
Forgiveness has allowed me to live and breathe and sleep and move on. I pray for a season of forgiveness. And I hope you will too.
Janet McHenry is a speaker and the author of 24 books, including the bestselling PrayerWalk and her newest, The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus. She micro-blogs daily on her FB author page about something or other after reading a chunk of Bible in her read-through-the-Bible plan. She’d love to connect with you: https://www.janetmchenry.com.
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