There are times when things do not go how we planned. Learning about life in Ireland, most days we don’t know what to expect, therefore our plans are constantly being altered or disrupted. This can be terribly frustrating! We can react one of two ways: we can internalize the frustration and become bitter or we can communicate it in a healthy way to someone else and release it.
For some reason, we tend to feel justified by hanging on to frustrations - releasing the feelings we get when we are short-changed can make us feel vulnerable. Americans, especially, don’t want to be taken - we want justice! As a result, we can be in danger of allowing our frustrations to become like layers of cement - we allow them to settle, harden, and become permanent fixtures in our lives. Before long, others start to see our bitterness. They trust our testimony in Christ less and less. Our goal should be to imitate the One who forgives us time and again despite our many faults (Colossians 3:13).
Forgiveness is something that needs to be a part of our daily schedule. Like brushing our teeth and exercise, letting go of frustrations and injustices must be a healthy addition to what we do every day. If we make it something we consciously strive to do, it makes it less difficult to release the disappointments when they suddenly come our way.
"Forgiveness mirrors the generosity of God whose ultimate goal is neither to satisfy injured pride nor to justly apportion reward and punishment, but to free sinful humanity from evil and thereby reestablish communion with us." - Miroslav Volf, Free of Charge