Forgiving others is not an option for someone who desires to be forgiven. I think I've mentioned that a few times throughout my years of writing. Jesus said, "Forgive so that your heavenly Father can forgive you." But forgiveness as I've learned does not always have the added perk of immediate restoration and joy attached to it. It's a difficult and humbling endeavor to strive for restoration with another sin scarred individual. And it is becoming more and more evident the longer I live that not many people are willing to love so deeply and be committed so faithfully to living out God's love. It seems all too often that people would prefer to slink away with their records of wrongs rather than humble themselves so as to be restored to another. The phrase "Fade to black" is running through my head right now. Only it isn't a pleasant feeling when the story that is fading to black is a relationship that is falling apart. It is ever so painful no matter what the cause. But that is what happens when pride slips in and rules the hearts of men. They cling to their wounded pride and coddle their hurt feelings licking their wounds till they grow to love the taste of them. In the name of irreconcilable differences people frequently sacrifice the ones closest to them. It's a shameful blood lust that has taken down many marriages and friendships throughout the span of time. It is a viciously pervasive form of un-forgiveness, designed to kill our love for one another and eventually destroy our souls.
When a believer is faced with a situation where someone will not be restored to him/her what consolation is there? How can we live joyfully when there is such a lack of charity in the world? I have yet to find a fully satisfactory answer to that. But I do find nuggets of gold every so often that keep me believing that joy does not have to be so illusive just because there are unyielded souls that have a tendency to wound with proficiency.
One thing that I take comfort in is the fact that the Word of God is able to divide even between the soul and spirit of a man. He sees me. All of me....and He remains with me in spite of what He sees. Though the love of most is growing cold, He sees me. Though our current culture is a culture of divorce He sees me and remains faithful.
Sadly my life has seen an abundance of this divorcing culture. I'm not just talking about husbands and wives I've known. I'm also including friendships that have been lost, church members that have either abandoned the faith or forsaken our small gathering, and even family members who have disowned one another to varying degrees. No matter what the case has been, I can see clearly that pride and unyielding hearts are the catalysts of disunity. In all these circumstances, false assumptions and a lack of humility are what set that ball rolling in the direction of irreconcilable differences. In my opinion there shouldn't be such a thing as "irreconcilable differences". Instead of clinging to the right to feel wronged, it would be better to cling to the love God tells us to have for another. Because as His word tells us, "Love covers over a multitude of sins". Love.
As individuals we can not force others to live or love like they are supposed to. I would say that it has been a tough enough job just getting my own heart to love like I am supposed to. I know full well that I have insufficient love of my own to give. But God, who sees me, continues to give me His love in spite of my failures. In that I find joy- because I now have Something to offer.