The other day I was watching an NFL game; (Go RAMS!) both teams played well and both teams suffered some mistakes. Both teams at times fumbled (i.e. mishandled) the ball, but I noticed how they had to quickly shake off whatever play they didn’t make and go on to the next part of the game.
In other words they could not dwell on their screw up if they wanted to continue to fight for a chance to win the game.
I thought about how this type of attitude can be applied to the lives you and I live every day. If we want to make it through to our goal, the finish line or just life in general we can’t get hung up on the everyday screw ups; mistakes we make and offenses made towards us by others.
Getting caught up on an old hurt is like fumbling the ball and continuing to fumble the ball because you can’t get past the first fumble (the initial hurt). Even with some of life’s biggest hurts, we can’t let those get us caught up or we will stay stuck, unable to move forward in life, going around the same mountain, replaying the same offense.
Jesus said “It is impossible that no offenses should come”. That means it is impossible to live a life where you encounter no hurt, no offense or no sadness. Even if you come from the most squeaky clean background and try your best to live right every day.
A lot of us get caught up in some deeper offenses, a betrayal from a close friend or loved one, a failed relationship, a traumatic experience.
I’m not saying that you should not take time to process emotions in a healthy manner, grieve and heal. What I am saying is that you and I cannot afford to stay stuck there.
We have to get over it and continue the rest of the game.
Forget quickly, forgive quickly, if you hang on and try to continue the rest of the game with that baggage you’ll get tripped up. And continue to make fumbles.
Forgiveness is often the only way to move forward.
It’s tough, it’s icky, it’s not an overnight process, but it’s the equivalent of pressing forward to the goal.
A note about forgiveness:
- Forgiveness doesn’t always mean reconciliation: there are some cases where dis-continuing the relationship with an individual is best for everyone’s overall well-being or safety.
- Forgiveness sometimes will include a healthy boundary or consequence: for example if a couple is recovering from an affair a spouse may require they both seek marital counseling as a result. Forgiveness is offered but there is now a boundary in place.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean you never speak up for yourself or become a door mat. Don’t let stuff go under the guise of forgiveness because you are afraid to speak up and address a matter.
Don’t get caught up friends. Forgive quickly. Forget quickly. Move on. Press forward. Finish the game.