Conflict and hurt are unfortunately common parts of daily living. I’m sure that you’ve lived through times when you were hurt or disappointed by things that other people did. I’m sure that you’ve had times when other people stepped on your toes or talked about you behind your back. We’ve all had times when we’ve been angry enough to strike back. Maybe when you are hurt by other people you withdraw from them, or even walk away.
Forgiveness is never easy; and yet, forgiveness is an important part of our spiritual lives. Forgiveness is something spiritual because we all know that none of us are perfect; and yet, God continues to challenge us to live well with each other. Forgiveness is something spiritual because the Cross of Christ reminds us that, even when we go astray, God continues to give us a chance to do better. Forgiveness is something spiritual because our faith is based upon the teachings of a Man who clearly told us to forgive the people who hurt us even as He was hanging on a Cross. Jesus even taught us to pray: “and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.”
In Luke 17:1-10, Jesus talks about forgiveness and then, in response to His disciples’ request to “increase our faith,” Jesus speaks about mustard seed faith. It’s not always easy to forgive other people, but Jesus assures us that we can do it with even a little bit of faith. We can forgive others because God has already blessed us with the faith to do it. We can open our hands and let go of our hurts because it only takes a little bit of faith to do it – and we all have at least that much faith! We can let go of anger and live at peace with those who have disappointed us because God give us the ability to do it. We can even go after the deep-seated anger and disappointments in our lives knowing that God wants to release us and set us free to live a better and more peaceful life.
I’ve discovered that there are times when it’s “almost impossible” to let the past be the past; but today, I’m reminded that “almost impossible” means that I can still do it with the help of God. We all need to trust God to help us to do what we cannot do by ourselves. We all need to trust God – the Source of mustard seed faith – to bless us with whatever it is that we need, so that we can open our hands and let go of whatever is weighing us down.
Forgive others as God has forgiven you and trust in the fact that God is giving you the faith – even if it’s only as big as a mustard seed – that you can use to find the peace, calm, rest, and freedom that Jesus wants you to have.