And Now For The Airing Of The Grievances

Remember the holiday that George Constanza’s father invented on Seinfeld? It was called Festivus. There was a pole, feats of strength and, my personal favorite, the airing of the grievances.

 

Here’s a list of ways you disappointed me this past year.

It’s funny but yet…it’s not.

My church attendance has been spotty this year and when I’m there, I’m not THERE. The body is present but nothing else is. I go because it’s the right thing to do and I want to set a good example for my kids. That’s it.  It’s been on my mind that I can’t continue this way. It concerns me that my state of mind didn’t bother me so I contacted an old friend who I hadn’t seen in a while and asked her to meet me for coffee.  The last time she and I sat down and talked, she was going through the beginning of a very dark time. These days when I see her from a distance, I can tell that something had changed. Her whole countenance is different. She’s happy and positively glows.

I needed to know how she got from Point A to Point B.

Over caffeine at a local coffee shop, she and I sat outside on the park benches and talked until the place closed. I spent a lot of time listening to her story and when it was my turn, I became Frank Costanza and started airing my grievances against everyone who hurt me.  I do mean everyone.

What was painfully obvious to my friend, but not to me, is that I’m wallowing…drowning in unforgiveness.  I needed to forgive those who hurt me, whether they knew it or not, whether they care to have it or not.  Withholding forgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. It hurts me, not them.

She also pointed out that I needed to ask forgiveness from others that I had hurt.

Well she could have punched me in the face and it would have been less painful and less obvious. But she was so right.  I went home that night and sent off a couple of emails asking for forgiveness from those I’ve wronged. (It’s amazing how I didn’t have to stop and think about who those people might be. I knew.)

A couple of weeks have gone by since our coffee date and I haven’t forgiven anyone yet.

Would you believe that ASKING for forgiveness is much easier for me than GIVING it?

My friend is right. I can’t move forward until I forgive. I just don’t know how I’m going to do it.

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4 thoughts on “And Now For The Airing Of The Grievances

  1. That’s a great question. Never thought about it like that. I guess one frees you from guilt (being forgiven) and one lets you still hold the power to someone else’s freedom. We usually are okay with us being “let off the hook” but harder to let someone “get off free”. I ran into a couple people the other day that I try to avoid and not sure I handled it right since I just continued to avoid which makes me wonder if I still have unforgiveness. Messy stuff.

    Thanks for sharing and being honest.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Jessica. I guess the only way I know to start this process is by praying for the other person. Maybe God will use that to soften my heart so I can forgive.

  3. So true – it is easier to ask forgiveness than to give forgiveness! Great insight. I am going to use that (and give you credit for it!) For me, I just try to remember what God has redeemed me from and then realize that my grievances with others aren’t as big as I somteimes think they are – especially in comparison the grievances God could have with me.

    And I think your idea of praying for the person is a really good one. It won’t always lead to forgiveness (that’s a heart issue) but it is usually one of the indicators of have you forgiven that person. If you can’t pray for them, you haven’t forgiven them!

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