Spiritual Insights in Difficult Times
"As often as I look upon the cross, so often will I forgive with all my heart"
A moment of crisis demands a lot of forgiveness. Everything needs to be decided quickly and change of things can be done very quickly. This does not happen in a theoretical situation but actually affects people directly. It is inevitable in life that we face hostile people, situations and memories. We always need to keep forgiveness near at hand because many moments will challenge us to be forgiving towards ourselves and to the seemingly undeserving others. At a time like this we may find ourselves facing the realities of:
- False concern from family, workmates and friends who may pretend to be caring and compassionate but are not present in our moment of suffering and time of need.
- False friendships which are actually relationships that drain our energy, and seek to control and subdue us.
- False humility that often is used to manipulate and provoke sympathy from us and can lead us to be seriously offended when we realise we have been taken for granted.
- People who have falsely pretended to rejoice in our achievements but are secretly envious and are willing to sabotage the little we have achieved.
- Being faced with the ingratitude of others when we have genuinely sacrificed much for them. They feel, rather, that they are entitled to our generosity.
- Believing we will be considered in our employment after having given it our all, only to discover that you are terminated or sent on an unpaid leave.
- A betrayal in a marriage or property held in trust for an entire family, which is usurped or sold behind our back.
- Betrayal by our political leaders who we elected with high hopes and who have become wolves in sheep clothing.
The above situations and many more are a reality in our lives. Forgiveness is a difficult thing. Often it is a process and can take a long time to truly forgive someone and be liberated. This does not mean we should nor be forgiving.
Forgiveness is the other side of the coin of love. There can no true love without forgiveness. Our true act of love is when we are able to forgive. In times of difficulties we tend to be more aware of our pain and inner movements. This can make us moody, and make it more difficult to take a step in forgiving those who have wronged us.
We need to be aware that we need the grace of God to be able to forgive. It is not just our human effort but an act we do with God and for God. We forgive because God first forgave us even though we were not worthy or even repentant. When we forgive and are forgiven we draw close to God. We pray that our homes, communities, places of work will be places of true forgiveness and reconciliation.