This Forgiveness Thing Though…

Out of nowhere, one cub (offensive cub) hit another cub (defensive cub) in the face with a roll of birthday-themed wrapping paper (don’t ask).  It was supposed to be a fake hit, they said.

The defensive cub didn’t think it was an accident and pushed. In retaliation, the offensive cub punched.  I didn’t see it, but I heard it all.

Next, an angry, teary-eyed defensive cub came downstairs to tell me their version of what happened while the other angry offensive cub yelled their side from the top of the stairs.  Jesus, take the wheel!  Calgon, take me away!  Why do they save their best arguments for evenings when PB is not around? Where can I hide for the rest of the night?

Later that evening the offensive cub who did the hitting approached the defensive cub who was hit and asked for forgiveness.  The defensive cub responded, “I don’t know yet.” [That’s so me!]  Thankfully, before going to bed the defensive cub accepted the offensive cub’s apology and everyone went to bed in a good mood.

Forgiveness is a process. My cubs were able to work out their situation in one evening.  However, in other situations, it’s not as simple as asking, “Will you forgive me?” and the other person saying, “Yes, I forgive you.”  Everyone hugs, and all is well with the world!  Ummm…no!

1. Offering an apology indicates that you are not going to intentionally hurt that person in the same way again.  My offensive cub claimed it was an accident.  The swing of the wrapping paper roll was never supposed to actually make contact with the defensive cub’s face.  By apologizing, they were admitting to wrongdoing and promising not to hit their sibling in the face again with a roll of wrapping paper.  Will there be more opportunities for my cubs to apologize to one another? Of course!  We all sin and fall short.  The key word is “intentionally” here.  If offensive cub picks up the wrapping paper roll and whacks their sibling again, trust is broken and the apology no longer has meaning.  The apology never should have been given.

2. If you’re not over it, don’t accept the apology.  The defensive cub wasn’t over the hit yet.  Maybe their face was still hurting.  Maybe they were still trying to work out in their mind how best to retaliate.  Maybe they wanted their sibling to feel remorseful a little while longer.  Whatever the reason, I think it’s perfectly okay to take some time to work it out internally or you’ll end up failing at accepting the apology.  Just don’t spend too much time in this funky area because it’s not Christ-like.  We forgive because God forgives us.  It says so in Colossians, I think.

3. Once you accept the apology, let the matter GO!  If the defensive cub had accepted the offensive cub’s apology before getting over what happened, I guarantee it would’ve come up in a future argument.  That’s what happens when we say we accept an apology before we actually mean it.  You have to be ready to let it go.  You can’t bring it up again.  Ever.

ON TO OTHER NEWS…

We are less than two weeks away from the Avon Walk to End Breast Cancer!  I’m feeling sore, but excited!  I think our team is ready for the challenge.  I’ve been walking as much as possible – either outside or on a treadmill.  On Sunday, I walked my longest distance yet (20 miles) with some of my teammates.  I have to get in at least 14 more miles this week.  Here’s a picture of Team Faith Walkers.

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We are having a great time together and looking forward to crushing this Walk!  To donate, go HERE.  Thank you to everyone for your prayers, words of encouragement, and monetary gifts!  We are so grateful for YOU!

Living for Him!

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