In the same way, honesty and forgiveness can heal relationships between fathers and their children. But man, it can be hard to forgive! It’s much easier to bury our hurt in a pile of complacency and fool ourselves (or pretend) that we’ve forgiven. Have you ever found yourself in this situation my brothers and sisters?
Forgiveness doesn’t come easily to us. It’s not natural. Revenge is easy, while forgiveness comes primarily through faith, by the strength that comes through Jesus.
Anytime you say, “I’ve forgiven you,” even if you say it in your own mind, you should question yourself: Have you really forgiven this person? Or have you simply turned your heart off to the pain?
A good test to know your true feelings is to imagine if something happened to the person you’ve “forgiven.” If they died or were seriously injured, what would you feel? Joy? Pain? Indifference? That little test can provide a view into your own heart.
Sometimes what we call forgiveness is really nothing more than a mask, one more tool we use to hide the pain from others and ourselves. Forgiveness is hard. I struggle with it to this day. I don’t hold grudges. If I saw “Tom” or “Mr Williams” today, I’d shake their hands. But have you truly forgiven your failed fathers? Or do you just not care anymore?
Have you forgiven your father? You should find that path to forgiveness easier because you know he loves you. While in many ways he may be a horrific father, You still felt his love. And even as a child, you could distinguish between his love and his mistakes. I think you’ve forgiven your father, just because you feel sorry for him, a sad, confused man. Perhaps what he did to you wasn’t exactly his fault. And in a way, perhaps that means you have nothing to forgive. You don’t forgive the rain for ruining your barbecue or for flooding your basement. You should see no malice or purpose in your father’s fear of you. He didn’t know reality. I just felt sorry for him because a grown man should know better, and he didn’t.
But being honest with yourself, what if your stepfather has inflicted more hurt that your father, would you forgive him the same way. At times it feels as though you have, but disregard is not forgiveness. I don’t care, just as he may never really have cared for you, What if he had repented before he took that last breath. I will urge you to forgive and let go and ask God to take the lead because our times are in His hands.
Do not wait until the day of the funeral to cry and beat on the casket wishing you had the last chance to say “I love you”. Do not wait to seek forgiveness, i is already too late. You have an opportunity to make that right now and tell it all to Jesus. I know the pain and the hurt but do not let it block your path to that Celestial City whose Builder and Maker is God Himself.
Your servant and brother,
+ Sir Godfrey Gregg
Archbishop and Presiding Prelate
Administrator and Apostolic Head
Follow me on Twitter @ArchbishopGregg
You can listen to audio recordings of some of our latest sermons at https://soundcloud.com/user116591010
TO BE CONTINUED …………….