“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sin.”
You know how when the little things just get you down and every little thing begins to eat away at you? Well, that is how I felt today. I woke up late and then my mother has been pressuring me about getting a dress for my cousins wedding. I bought one dress with my own money already and she didn’t like it, so she made me go out and look at some other dresses. So, I went to a store today and got a cute red dress that was on sale. When I told my mother that I already bought the dress, she kept pressuring me to go out with her so that she could see what dresses I was going to buy. I felt insulted by this. I am 24 years old and at this point I wish she would trust me to make my own decisions somewhat. It felt so condescending that she was trying to control what I was wearing. As if she thinks I’d show up in something completely ridiculous at the wedding, as if she can’t trust me to do basic things like dress myself. I was so angry after I got off the phone, I just hung up after we finished talking, I didn’t even say goodbye. I felt like she was too controlling and hovering over me about every little thing. So, that was the beginning of my bad mood.
Next, I went to the grocery store to pick up my mom’s prescription and a few other things, while I was in line I was hovering around the magazine stand, but my cart was clearly in line. This woman came around and just hopped in front of me. I felt that was very rude of her. It’s not that I don’t mind letting people cut in front of me in line, but what upset me was that she would be so rude to just cut in front of me without even asking when I know she knew I was ahead of her. Then, she wouldn’t even look at me because she knew she did wrong and didn’t want conflict. Conflict, I didn’t give her. I was angry, but I just moved to the next aisle because I wasn’t going to stand in line behind her. Then when I got into check out, I was overcharged for some green peppers. I was just ticked off.
Looking at this scenario, it seems basic enough. These are all minor problems that can brusehd away, so forgiveness shouldn’t really matter right?
Well, in the car I was still angry and I got to thinking, does God care if I’m angry about minuscule things. Does forgiveness even count in a situaiton where I know in a few days I won’t even be thinking about these minor conflicts? I knew I’d eventually get over my mother bothering me about the dress, I knew I’d stop thinking about the rude woman in the grocery line eventually, so why even make the effort to forgive?
But, then little things that get you down can add up. If you experience enough little things that hurt you, they can build up and seep into your soul. When the big one comes around and you face a big problems, sometimes all those little things that you thought you’d gotten over suddenly resurface. When you’re facing a terrible hardship or injustice, it’s easy to reach back into your mind and pull those little things up again.
Let’s say you’re at work and the boss overlooks you, only to promote someone that you trained. You’ve got bills to pay and you’ve been working hard and breaking your neck at work and then you don’t even get rewarded for your sacrifice. You KNOW that you’re angry at your boss and you know that you need to forgive, but it’s hard. Suddenly, right at this time all those little things that you thought you’d brushed aside seem to flood your mind and you think to yourself :
“You know what, no wonder I didn’t get promoted, people have NEVER appreciated me. Just like that time that woman cut in front of me in line and I didn’t do anything, just like the time Susie stole my pop rocks in 4th grade and lied and I got in trouble.” Yada Yada Yada….
It seems like every little thing that you’d thought you’d gotten over comes right back up at the worst time. It’s easy to be bitter when you let the little things build up and break you down. I believe the devil makes you think that forgiveness doesn’t matter in small situations and then uses those little times that you were mistreated to break you down when its REALLY hard to forgive.
It makes it harder to forgive the big things, when you allow the little things to build up inside you. That is why when I got in the car, I prayed outloud for God to help me forgive those little things.
I prayed for the woman in the grocery aisle. I prayed that God bless the woman, change her heart. I prayed for God to help me understand that she has her own life and whatever prompted her behavior is nothing against me. I prayed that if she was in an urgent situation or was having troubles in her life that God touch her and resolve those problems. I prayed that she got to where ever she was heading to safely. I prayed for God to allow me to forgive me for her peccadillo against me. I prayed that God remind me that I’m not perfect and that I’ve been rude to people before and I’ve had to have others show me my rudeness and when I realized that I was wrong, I wanted THEIR forgiveness. If I deserve to be forgiven, why shouldn’t she?” So, I forgave her and after praying out loud, I actually felt my anger and frustration lift.
Then, I prayed for God to help me not to be angry at my mother. I prayed that God would help me understand that she only wants what is best for me. Even if she doesn’t come off as a bit controlling, she does it because she wants me to look nice and because she cares. I prayed for God to remind me to count my blessings that I have a mother who cares about me and loves me. I prayed for God to show me a way to communicate with my mother in a respectful way where we could both try and understand where the other is coming from.
Then, I prayed that God help me remember that even though I was overcharged for my food at the store, at least I have good to eat. I can count my blessings that some extra money won’t break me. I thought about the people who are less fortunate and being over-charged wasn’t such a big deal.
After I went through and prayed about all the little things that got me down during the day, I felt better. I felt the bitterness lift off of me and I pray for God to banish any underlying resentment that may have seeped into me. I believe when we forgive the little things, it frees us and makes it easier to forgive the big things in life that are harder to forgive.
So, I believe it’s important to forgive all things, even things that you think you’ll forget about later. No matter how small or big the situation, forgiveness is freeing.
So, here is my prayer:
Thank you for all the beauty and blessings you’ve bestowed on me, even when I don’t deserve them. Help me to forgive all those who trespass against me, whether their sin against me is big or small. Please help me to remember that I am not perfect and I’ve committed many sins and I’ve prayed for forgiveness. Please help me to remember Lord that if I am deserving of forgiveness then so are others. Please bless all those who have sinned against me and please forgive me for my sins, Lord.
In Christ Name I pray,