Here is my thesis. Life is about giving, and love is at the top of the list. In fact, I believe that all of creation is about the revolving, interconnecting circles of Light, Life and Love. Genesis 1 and 2 support my thesis. The Sanskrit poem Bhagavad Gita supports my thesis. Therefore, success or fulfilling our purpose in creation, in my opinion, comes through the velocity of how we give.
You have heard that you reap what you sow. Some of us are familiar with the parable of the fig tree where Jesus condemned the tree for not producing any fruit after being given adequate seasons to “let go.” How about: God gave His only begotten son, so that … we could have everlasting life? Giving is clearly a life principle.
So my argument begs the question, ‘why is it so hard to for-give or let go?’ I suggest we first consider the motivation for holding on.
We keep things mostly out of comfort or familiarity or fear. It is easier to work within the confines of our experiences or hold on to the successes that we already have – no matter how outdated these may be. Worse, we sometimes hold on to whatever it is because we fear that it will never be replaced, or we will not get anything in return.
For-give-ness is the extreme active of giving. The literally meaning is the most intense form of give. No wonder it is so hard for most of us.
For some it is challenging to give a greeting, like ‘hello’ or ‘good morning.’ Others find it hard to give a donation to a worthy cause or tithe to their religious organization. Forget about giving a thoughtful gift to co-worker, classmate, or acquaintance where there will likely not be an exchange.
Giving only seems to be easy when reciprocity is in order. It is much more likely to occur when the exchange will result in a reciprocal physical act, tangible item, or pleasant feeling. But, we know that forgiving someone of a past or present hurt, disappointment or betrayal will not involve either of the aforementioned.
We hold onto hurt as we do our greetings to strangers or gifts for a co-worker because we cannot see ‘what’s in it for me.’ We know, and do not care, that it makes no sense. It makes about as much sense as holding onto clothes that you don’t wear, rather than donate them to a shelter that houses battered women who escaped their abusive relationships – likely without anything but their lives.
Truth is we will benefit from offering forgiveness. The benefits are subtle and often overlooked and undervalued, but they are there for us. It is like saying good morning to strangers even though they seem to never respond. It is very similar to offering to purchase lunch for the person on the corner with the sign, even if they really just want the money. It is just as important as cleaning out your closets on a routine basis and donating the clothes to shelters or churches that provide for people you will likely never meet.
The benefit is greater than you, but for you also. When you forgive there is a burst of positive energy that envelopes you and everything about you. When you greet a stranger, I assure you they carry that throughout their day and will eventually bless someone else with your kindness. When you give that faded sweater, out of date jeans, or too tight wardrobe away someone is grateful to have clean clothes to cover their wounds as they begin their life anew. The same goes for saying I forgive you- even if the person will never hear it from you.
Saying I forgive you means that you hear it and you become transformed throughout your day and life. The strange gesture as with the greeting will free you to bless someone else. Saying I forgive you provides a new emotional wardrobe, internal grace that reflects your outward act that says you cared enough about someone else to give what you could no longer hold onto.
For me, my thesis holds true. It is when we share our light, sacrifice the comforts of our life, and embody love that we are living out our purpose in creation. Forgive.