"Put on therefore, a heart of compassion, kindness, humility meekness, longsuffering; for forbearing one another, and forgiving each other, if any man have a complaint against any; even as the Lord forgave you, so also do ye." Colossians 3:12,13
If unforgiveness is stuck in the craw, everything is hard to swallow concerning that person who has done you wrong. The only problem is, it is only choking you.
As I've said before, we had a neighbor who has since moved--probably to get away from us--who seemed prejudiced against us. He threatened to sue us on a regular basis and tried to report us for negligence to the city. Our offense was that we had landscaped our side yard next to his partly to plant trees to screen his two story view looking down into our one story windows: our watering was getting the wooden fence too wet. He was sure we had a broken water pipe underground and was insisting that we dig up our yard. We showed him both sides of our house where the sloping yards drained away from other lots with excess moisture as the developers planned. It did not matter. We could not control the rain that dampened the fence seasonally, but we did turn sprinklers away from it and let the grass die next to the fence to try to make him happy. The irony was that the trees that we planted to create a privacy screen only created the situation which invited him to invade us with his threats. By the way, the city backed us up, of course.
Living with the threat of a lawsuit when he knocked on our door, made us cringe upon seeing him. We had to pray for forgiveness in our hearts so that it wouldn't put a choke hold on us. He was the burr under our saddle. We found ourselves gritting our teeth upon seeing him since it would become an opportunity for his threats. We asked God for a smile instead to give to the poor man who had nothing better to do with his time.
"Self-preoccupation, self-brooding, self-interest, self-love, --these are the reasons why you go jarring against your fellows." Henry Scott Holland
There are bigger issues of unforgiveness, justifiable ones it would seem. Some people don't deserve forgiveness. Yet, "to forgive is divine." To forgive someone when they never can deserve your forgiveness is something only God can help us do since that is what He has done for us. It is only by comparing our "somebody done somebody wrong song" to His, that we can get perspective enough to try to open our heart to the healing that forgiveness can bring to us. Actually, it can only be done with His divine help, by giving the hurt, the pain, the it-wasn't-right, to Him. "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord." Then it is between Him and the offender.
A sweet ending to the story...today the doorbell rang. We have a little left-over angst to the doorbell ringing, but instead a sweet box was left on my doorstep from the Morro Bay Cookie Company. One of the dearest of childhood friends of my daughters who I can almost claim as my own,
Not every knock is a hard knock. Open up to the sweetness of the soul only God can give.