Commitment-Phobe: Advent challenge, day 22
Today’s challenge is based around the idea that God gives us second chances to make up for our mistakes. Today is about offering a second chance to others. The options are:
- Forgive someone who has wronged you
- Take some items to a local second hand shop for someone else to use
- Text “Refugee” to 70500 and donate £5 to give Bibles and practical aid to refugees this Christmas.
I think I will do option three, partly because I am either travelling or preparing to travel for most of the day, and partly because I am really worried about the refugees throughout the world this winter. But also, option one is… well… it’s complicated!
At church, we are sometimes encouraged to look at a relationship that is not quite right and to try to forgive and open our hearts to that relationship. When I did this in regards to one particular person, and chose forgiveness, I felt the Spirit lift me; I felt myself embraced by God and eternity. But forgiving someone is just the tip of the iceberg. Some hurts cause a whole network of emotional mechanisms that form a person’s character. Removing someone as the focus for your blame should lighten you but sometimes blame has become a habit. Sometimes you redirect the blame towards yourself. Or you continue to feel the wound and defend yourself before being attacked.
So I think that out of love it would be good to forgive others as God does, but also, to forgive and lighten ourselves. And to do that you must give yourself a second chance, or even a tenth chance, to freely give of yourself without counting the risk of betrayal or hurt. Living now, without fear of what has passed or what might come to pass, and that is really hard!