Original Facebook post April 3, 2018
In what might arguably be called the first - and most famous - personal development speech ever, the Teacher said, "Blessed are the peacemakers..." Shortly thereafter He said that if you want forgiveness, you must give forgiveness.
So it begs the question, why the importance of these two things?
I think it's because they are both counterintuitive and incredibly hard to do.
When someone hurts our feelings, betrays our trust, drags us down or speaks ill of us, the last thing we want to do is forgive them. Instead our natural instincts are to get them back, return fire or hold a grudge. And making peace with them? Forget about it. We want to hold on to our pain, anger and disappointment until they either come crawling back, we get revenge, life turns ugly for them, or they go to their grave - hopefully sooner rather than later.
There's only one problem with that.
None of it works that way.
Instead, if we refuse to make peace, we will never be completely at peace. And if we refuse to forgive, we are asking not to be forgiven ourselves, and we are volunteering to carry some heavy emotional baggage every day of our lives.
Another great teacher - and one of the greatest peacemakers in history, Nelson Mandela - summed it all up like this...
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
So what can we do about it?
If you have unforgiveness in your heart, start the process of letting go because it is literally hurting you more than it is them.
If you can initiate peace with someone without a risk to them or to yourselves, do as another great teacher suggested, "give peace a chance".
And if you can't do either on your own, or you have questions about whether it is wise to reach out, get help from someone who is professionally qualified to advise you.
It is my hope that in doing so, you are finally free from carrying those burdens and enjoy a genuine peace. I also hope you are able to mend some fences in time to experience the joy of restored relationships instead of the pain of regret. And lastly I hope that if none of the positive outcomes you dreamed possible come true, you will at least have the absolute comfort and assurance of knowing you did your very best.
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