Here’s another gift you can give that money can’t buy: you can forgive someone, and you can do it by December 25.
You already know the rationale, right? We lose when we perpetually hold grudges. Life is too short. We can’t let this stuff eat us up.
Forgiveness vs. Reconciliation and Trust
Now at times like this it’s always helpful to remind ourselves that there’s a distinction between Forgiveness, Reconciliation, and Trust. When we Forgive we aren’t saying we’re without hurt. We’re only saying that we won’t hold it against the offending party. In that sense we give sincere, repeated effort to not sit in a superior position of moral judgment. This means we can forgive people we’ll never ever see again, perhaps because they’ve died or perhaps because it’s not safe to be with them.
Reconciliation is a step deeper, because it means that we come to a point of “getting along” with the offending party. We get to a place of being in the same room, having some sort of congenial relationship. The offense no longer defines our relationship.
Trust goes even deeper, because we now choose to believe that former offenses will never happen again, and we’re truly good with each other.
Reconciliation and Trust are not required, but for believers Forgiveness is required. That’s what I’m talking about here.
A Gift for Yourself
How to forgive? You’ll know how. Maybe you just make the resolve. Write it down and tear it up. Say it out loud to yourself. Maybe say it to the offending party, or to someone who knows. “This is the day I forgive.” Have a ceremony, even if it’s just in your head. Do something memorable enough that it’s memorable.
It’s a gift you can give someone else, and yourself, this Christmas. And by “this Christmas”, I mean December 25. That’s the day you’ll bury the hatchet.