Forgiveness

So, this morning while praying, forgiveness kept coming to my mind. I began to pray, as I do every morning, and ask God to forgive me for anything I may have done that wasn't right or pleasing in His sight. Then I stopped myself. I'm here asking God to forgive me for what I've done that wasn't right and expect God to forgive me and extend grace and mercy, but I don't feel I extend that same grace and mercy to others. I don't really have ought in my heart against anybody, to be really honest, but, just like any other person, people have hurt me and disappointed me along the way and, at times, I tend to hold onto that hurt & disappointment and have a hard time letting it go. And right when I think I've let it go, they do something else that hurts and upsets me and disappoints me and then I have an even harder time letting it go. But then, I thought to myself, “How many times have I done something and asked God to forgive me over and over and I expect him to forgive me? No matter how many times I've sinned and fallen, He will still be right there to pick me up, forgive me, love me, and extend grace and mercy towards me. But, I can't do the same for others.” I began to weep and weep and ask God to truly search my heart, forgive me for not forgiving others and let things go. I realize it does no good to hold onto things and hold people to such high standards that, when they do let you down and hurt you or disappoint you, it's like the world caved in and you just write them off. 

I've been witnessing to my neighbor and she's actually got me thinking. She's a very bubbly person and always smiles. So, I told her, the other day, “I love your personality. You always seem happy; always smiling.” She said to me, “Life is too short. Laughter is good for you. What good does it do to walk around with a frown on your face and be upset and mad all the time? At the end of the day, what have you gained? Nothing.” So, I asked her, “Do you ever get upset at people?” She said, “I do but, I don't really ever show it. I go home and I pray about it and then I move on, because I realize they're not perfect and neither am I.” That was like a slap in the face for me and a wake up call at the same time. 

So, last Sunday I was shopping at HomeGoods and I was overhearing the conversation between a customer and manger next to me. The customer is very upset about something HomeGoods had done with some items she’d paid for. Their policy is that if you pay for something, you have to come back and pick it up within three days. Otherwise, they put it back on the sales floor. Apparently, she couldn't get around to get it within three days and she was told they would hold it for a couple more days. But, when she went back on Sunday, to pick it up, they had put it back on the floor and, of course, it sold. So, she was having this conversation with another store manager and the customer was almost in tears, because of the way the store manager was treating her. So, me being in the retail world and managing, I jumped in and I said, “Is everything OK?” The store manager looked at me a little weird and was confused as to why I was jumping in. I proceeded to tell her that I own and manage a retail store and said, “To be very honest, I would never speak to my customers or allow my employees to speak to a customer like you’re speaking to her.” The manager proceeded to tell me the situation of what was going on and then asked me if I was a secret shopper for HomeGoods. I told her, “You will never know. But, what I do know is that this is not acceptable customer service for HomeGoods.” At that point, she got a little worried and I think she was thinking that I was a secret shopper. She began to apologize to the customer and let the customer know that their policy is her policy and she should not have gotten upset at the customer. She looked at me and said, “This is ridiculous. I was having such a good day, today. I just left church and now my day is ruined because of her attitude.” I said to the customer, in front of the manager, “Don't let her ruin your day. It's not that serious. It's not worth it. Continue to have a good day. She apologized. Let it go and move on with a smile.” She hugged me and thanked for butting in and said that she is leaving HomeGoods with a smile on her face.

I got in my car and I started to think: As people, we get so easily offended and upset. We allow little things to ruin our day and cause us to have a bad attitude and, at the end of the day, we've gained nothing. I said to myself, “Life is too short to be upset over the littlest things. There's bigger things in life to be upset about other than someone hurting your feelings, saying something to you in the wrong, or accusing you of being short in your texting. 

So, the past couple days, forgiveness has really been on my heart and, in all honesty, I really don't have serious ought against anybody. People hurt my feelings, as I said before, but I decided, this morning when I got up, that I was gonna let all that go. I thought to myself, “If [a certain individual that I'm upset at] happens to pass away, unexpectedly, I would live with the regret of not making things right. People are people and people will make mistakes. People will disappoint you. People will hurt you and you will also do the same to people.” So, I decided it's time to extend mercy and grace to others with the same amount of mercy and grace I want God and others to extend me. 

When someone does something small to upset you, hurt you, or offend you, just tell yourself, “It's not that serious. Life is too short. Forgive them and move on!”

Give people the benefit of the doubt because9 times out of 10, what we get upset about is not really what actually happened or even worth getting upset over. What we think someone meant by text or email is not really what it is. Chances are, they were busy doing something else. They were voice texting and it just came out short. They were preoccupied and didn't see you and so on. 

Extend the same amount of grace & mercy and forgiveness you want extended to you. Let things roll off! Love people! 

March 01, 2017 by Lisa Blenman

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