The apostle Paul gave beautiful counsel to the Ephesians, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Recently my cousin, Mark, got me thinking more about forgiveness. Am I really as forgiving as I think I am? Do I hold on to past hurt?
Mark shared, I “just had an experience with my three-year-old son that was simultaneously hilarious, sweet, profound, and very indicative of his personality.
His five-year-old sister had just hit him—twice—and he had a dramatic meltdown in response to it. I took his sister upstairs and put her in time-out for a couple minutes, then we had a discussion about what she did wrong and how it made her brother, her parents, and herself feel. I asked her to apologize to her brother, who at this point was sitting down for lunch, and she tenderly approached him and said, “I’m sorry for hitting you.”
To this he simply replied: “Okay, then. Let’s eat!”
He went from screaming in pain to focusing on sharing a meal in a matter of minutes. I wish I could be as quick to forget offenses toward me and to forgive others like my little man cub, focusing instead on sharing what makes me happy with the offender. And what makes anyone more happy than food?”
Mark decided his motto for the rest of 2020 is “Okay, then. Let’s eat!”
My hope is that we can all learn from the example of this precious three-year-old boy. Forgiveness does not have to be difficult. Instead of allowing pride, resentment, or bitterness fill our hearts, we can quickly put wrongs behind us. May we be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving.