By, Susan Kuebler
If there is one concept I have struggled with the most, as a Christian, it has to be forgiveness. Have I asked God for forgiveness? Of course I have. That’s the easy part really. And if somebody comes to me and asks me to forgive them for something they have said or done, I can usually find it in my heart to do so. Of course, I then get to feel really good about myself.
But that’s not what Jesus told us to do. We are supposed to forgive whether the person asks for it or not. Even if they don’t deserve it. Especially if they don’t deserve it. Not just once, or twice. Or seven times. Nope, seventy times seven times. There have been times in my spiritual journey when I’ve wondered if Jesus were slightly crazy. Why should I keep forgiving someone who keeps on hurting me? Why should I forgive someone who has done something truly awful to me.
A lot of us, including myself, want to react like Donald Trump. When somebody punches us, we want to punch back. Don’t get mad, get even. Revenge is a dish best served cold. Trump said his favorite Bible verse was “An eye for an eye.”. Yet Ghandi wisely told us that if everyone believed in an eye for an eye, pretty soon the whole world would be blind.
It has taken me a while, along with the help of great spiritual advisers, to realize that Jesus wasn’t crazy. Telling me to forgive, the smallest to the greatest pain, as many times as necessary, wasn’t to test me. It was to FREE me. Free me from the pain, free me from the desire to hit back, free me to love and not to hate. I truly wish that Donald Trump could feel how profoundly this sense of freedom changes your life.
Is it no longer a struggle for me? Absolutely not. Christianity is simple, but it’s not easy. Each day, we begin anew, striving to better. It’s not too late for anyone.