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What if we embraced forgiveness?

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I’m exhausted. The political drama that played out during the past few weeks has divided America into a new cold civil war. No shots were fired, yet. But, families have been divided. Friendships have ended. Work relationships have been strained.

I read the news or watch television and find myself wanting to take a shower. Politics has always been dirty. But, just when we think we have reached a new low, our “leaders” surprise us by finding new ways to muddy the pit even more – all the while gleeful, ratings-driven news pundits fan the flames of discord.

This past 30 days seen the worst of America. Sadly, it seems the fight is destined to continue. All day today I have been seeing social media posts where people are reinforcing their battle lines, anxious and ready for this nonsense to continue.

Why can’t people see that when arguing with someone in no-win situations that one more fact, one more link, one for reaffirmation of their side WILL NOT change any minds.

The only being happier about America’s dumpster fire is Satan himself. He won big!

Rather than drawing battle lines along the lines of #sistersunite, #strongsurvivor, #himtoo, #metoo and the like, how about we take a giant, collective breath. Let’s turn off television, social media and the internet and go outside – if there is any place in America it isn’t raining – and take a walk in the woods to enjoy the beautiful fall colors.

Refreshed, then let’s strive to value each other as people, both men and women — both deeply wounded internally, both deeply seeking love and acceptance, both prone to mistakes with devastating consequences, and both with horrible scars incurred when growing up.

It is okay for women to “value each other as amazing and beautiful sisters,” and to support then through painful tragedy. However, men and women are meant to complete each other, not compete with each other. They are designed to share each other’s loads, to love and respect each other.

From the sound of many, many, many social media posts today, women have been deeply hurt by men in their past. I have been deeply hurt by men in my past — and women. Trust me, there is only one way to remove that pain, and revenge isn’t it.

Human relationships are messy. They always have been and they always will be. That’s what happens when two broken people come together, each bringing a lot of hurtful baggage to the relationship or situation.

Add to that our deeply ingrained selfishness (admit it, that flaw is there whether you see it or not) and our God-given free will to make choices even when they are bad for us, and we’ve got a big mess.

That’s where forgiveness has power. Forgiving doesn’t mean you accept what happened to you as being right. It doesn’t mean you ignore your past and the wounds it caused. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting. It just means you take your foot off the other person’s throat.

You want to change the world? Forgive the people from your past. You will find a tremendous relief from the burden you have carried with you for many, many years.

Free from the burden, you can then help others by encouraging them to forgive as well. You can help them be victors, not victims. You can help them by not dwelling on a painful past, but by shedding their baggage and embracing a glorious future.

Rather than seeking revenge, or ignoring the pain that occurred in the lives of others, what if forgiveness had prevailed over the past 30 days? Would America and the rest of the world be better for it?

Let’s not use the mess that unfolded in the past 30 days to continue a men vs. women, us vs. them battle. Let’s look for ways to forgive others and move on. That way, everyone wins.

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Greg Gerber

A native of Wisconsin who moved to Arizona in 2009, Greg Gerber is a DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three grown daughters. He worked as a journalist for many years before pursuing a career as a faith-based writer, author, coach and speaker. Greg is the author of Pornocide: How Lust is Killing Your Faith, Stealing Your Joy and Destroying Your Life.

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