Justice and mercy meet within forgiveness. This is because in forgiving someone, you are paying for the debt that they owe you, balancing the proverbial scales of injustice. This is what makes forgiveness difficult.

RECONCILIATION – THE NEED OF THE HOUR: CONFESS AND FORGIVE

We humans are majestically interwoven in relationships YET, we find some kind of brokenness everywhere. We have trust issues with people all the time. Our environment is not friendly to us. Often we fight with guilt and largely, we just go in the way opposite to godliness. God and our life seems like the pole of two extremes.

We are broken, we cannot trust one another,

We need protection from each other!

NOW, it is a solid state of affairs…

Once, someone shared with me her deepest secrets on WhatsApp chat. But after our chat, she asked me to do something which I had never thought anyone would ever ask me. She said, “Brother, I trust you but I cannot trust your phone and others who might check your phone sometime. Would you please delete our chat and send me the screenshot?”

Brokenness in relationships is the violation of purpose, the forcible act of separation and the need for reconciliation. Often, we blame others for our brokenness but we tend to forget a clap cannot sound with one hand! The repercussion of brokenness keeps us separated. According to the nature of law, punishment is a reward or repay YET, punishment never mends the brokenness, it never restores the broken relationships.

THEN WHAT CAN BE THE BETTER OPTION FOR US?

HOW TO MEND AND RESTORE?

One of my favourite poems is penned by an anonymous elementary school teacher, which goes like this:

He came to my desk with a quivering lip,
the lesson was undone.
“Do  you have a new sheet for me, dear teacher?
I’ve spoiled this one.”

I took his sheet, all soiled and blotted
and gave him a new one all unspotted.
And into his tired heart, I cried,
“Do better now, my child.”

I went came to the throne with a trembling heart;
the day was undone.
“Do  you have a new day for me, dear Master?
I’ve spoiled this one.”

He took my day, all soiled and blotted
and gave me a new one all unspotted.
And into my tired heart, he cried,
“Do better now, my child.”

I see two sides of this poem – ‘CONFESSION and FORGIVENESS’  – the ONLY answer to our questions on how to mend and how to restore.

CONFESSION and FORGIVENESS are means of communication. Where one admits his wrongs and the other person forgives him embracing the priority of reunion in the relationship. In this sacred communication, the required sacrifice is our EGO, ARROGANCE, PRIDE, SELF-RIGHTEOUS and all sort of things that separate us from one another and keeps us under subjection.

It is the grace of Confession and Forgiveness that work as the final portal of reconciliation. This grace is available and the Bible says,

“Come now, Let’s Settle This,” says the LORD.”
Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow.
Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.

God Almighty reconciles with sinners like us. So, how much more willing you and I must be to confess and seek forgiveness as steps to reconciliation when we are the offenders in any relationship? Also, how much willing we must be to accept the confession and forgive those who offend us?

What do you think?

LEARN TO FORGIVE – TO LOVE MORE

The arguments went on and on…

There was no end to it

Ego was not letting them stop. Each wants to dominate the other. The fight went on. Finally, she was exhausted and started to cry. He was more adamant after the heated conversation, hence he never turned back. The conversation had crossed the limits, rupturing their relation. There was an intense situation building up, an unhealthy relationship with no compromises, no love, and no interest to listen to each other. 

Even after this fight, their home was not a peaceful stage. Every other day, a new problem arose, the fights and arguments went on.Finally, the kids began to feel the insecurity, their happy home was not a safe place for them to live now. 

What is the sole reason for the fight?  

It is ego. 

Why the fight became worst?

The attitude towards the problem, compelling each individual not to forgive each other. 

It is said that Forgiveness plays a vital role in a relationship. No relation is perfect, but the attitude towards the problem can be modified. Every individual has a different mind, understanding and protecting these values with a forgiveness is important. We all humans are flawed even committed to making mistakes too, but to learn to forgive them is an art. An art that is important for a happy life. 

It is said that the couples who learn to forgive more or less are comparatively living a happy life. Lack of forgiveness is likely to bring on and stir up negativity in the relation. Negative emotions are more impactful than happy moments in the life, making the relationship more vulnerable.In a study conducted by most of the institutes, the importance of forgiveness in a relation  says that if a person holds a grudge : 

Brings in unhappiness and builds up anger in the relations.
The relation lacks the purpose and the commitment
Anxiety and Depression build up.
The joyfulness in the current happiness.
Once forgiveness plays a vital role in the life, life becomes peaceful. To bring in the tendency of forgiving any mistakes, one can focus on these points :

  1. The outcome of the fight: Whether both the parties involved have any benefit out of the fight. One might win over the fight, losing the self-respect. Hence decide on the outcome of any fight.
  2. Do not involve in the blame game: Blame game is a continuous process, this never ends, hence involving in it is time waste and building a rupture in the relation. 
  3. Listen to your rightful inner voice:  Our inner voice is the more powerful in make us judge the situation. The inner voice at times sounds soothing, yet it might confuse the mind. Letting us choose the path in getting victory over the fight but not in maintaining the relationship.
  4. Damages the intimacy of a relation: When we learn to forget, the other person will never be afraid to commit mistakes. Mistakes actually work in favor of a relation, as it brings in closeness in the life. When we learn to forgive small mistakes, then slowly we are building a healthy relation, where one never needs to hide their flaws.

When we keep in mind these all fundamentals of a relation handling, we bring out the best in us to maintain a happy life. Forgiveness is a basic factor for a compassionate life.In order to resolve conflicts in a relation, forgiveness is vital. It helps to handle any relation in a rightful way. 

To conclude, let me quote Bryant H. McGill: 

There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.

 

THE GOOD TEACHER

I was in my ninth standard. The distribution of computer weekly test paper was in progress. Few of the students surrounded Mr. Rituraj Pradhan, our computer sir. He was fairly new to the school and had made a pretty good impression on us students. Even though I struggled in computers and Java was way beyond my limited scope of Computer understanding, I put in lot of effort. The students negotiated with him for some increase in marks, and few of them even got into an argument for his corrections. It was the usual scene which all of us would have experienced during our school days. Everyone discussed about their scores. The toppers complained about getting 21/25 or 22/25. The lesser lights were happy with a 10/25 and some did not care about their single digit scores.

I had scored a very decent 19/25 in my paper. I went up to our sir for enquiring about the correct answer for a question. As I went near he turned towards my face and shouted on top of his voice commanding me to get back to my place. I shivered a bit shocked by his rage. Everyone who had been trying to get the scores added up took a step back and graciously returned to their seats. I was back at my place trying my best to calm myself. The period got over soon. The 10 minute short break followed. I went out of the class to get a breath of fresh air outside. A friend shared his Tiffin with me. It was roti and chana, and it was tasty. We got back to our classes and eagerly waited for the lunch-break. I enjoyed the football in the afternoon. It refreshed me from the morning showdown. I felt much better after that.

The afternoon session had a computer practical period. The post-football fatigue made it very difficult for me to stay awake in the first period after the lunch. I looked at my watch wishing for the class to get over soon. The next class was the computer practical and I wanted to sit inside the air-conditioned computer lab which would help in relaxing my overworked calf muscles. I was looking at the monitor trying to understand the piece of code when Rituraj sir tapped on my shoulder. I greeted him formally. The next few lines he uttered were completely unexpected. He genuinely apologized for shouting at me in the morning class and there was no pretence in his words. He sounded very sincere and I was overjoyed by this action of his. A deep sense of respect grew for him, even though he was not the best ever teacher but his best efforts never seemed fake.

Apologizing is the sign of a strong character and Rituraj sir was one. I have never forgotten that act of his, a teacher saying sorry to a student for shouting at him. Teachers with nature like his can really move the students in the forward direction and certainly make them better human beings. The last time I heard of him was when I paid a visit to my school during the summer vacation after my 2nd semester of college. He was suffering from a kidney ailment and there was a notice which requested the staff and students to contribute for his treatment. I have no clue to where he is now. I wish and pray that he is healthy and still making a positive impact on the people around him.

HOW TO HANDLE CONFLICTS PEACEFULLY?

Former President of United States of America, Ronald Reagan says –

Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.

Wonderful! isn’t it?

If we look around us whether its in the family or in the community conflict is inevitable. I have seen there are people who walked out of the scene where there are conflicts and quarreling just to play safe. But there are times when we really can’t avoid the scene or the people involved in the conflict. At that time we have to think about ‘how to handle conflicts peacefully… .’

The scripture says,

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God forgave you.”

So conflict can be handled peacefully if we put away bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, malice and become kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another.

Another Proverb says, 

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

In addition to the above deductions and additions we need to be soft spoken. 

There’s another scripture portion that can really stir our minds, which is –

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.”

The above quote talks about how we stir up conflicts because of our selfish and evil desires. Unless we are selfless we can not create a peaceful atmosphere among all the quarrels and conflicts. 

Keep reading and keep commenting…

Stay Blessed!!!

WHEN ANGER TAKES OVER

(Picture Source: livinganewthought.com)

…awful things can happen.

Take, for example, the woman who killed herself – why – because he had a tiff with her husband. In her anger, she wrote a suicide note, talking about her fight with her husband, then hung herself. This was in the news very recently.

When you think about anger, you think an outburst of rage, maybe a few days of contempt-filled silence. When did anger become such an extreme feeling? When did the line between anger and rage become blurred?

Why don’t we talk about collective anger? What happens when a mob goes into such a frenzied rage that they lynch members of a family, on the basis of just a meagre rumour that they were eating beef! (they were in fact, eating mutton).

When was the last time you were angry? Do you remember how you behaved? Was it justified? 

I believe there is no use of all the self-help books, all the talks and seminars (though they help), or all the therapy sessions – if introspection does not come from within.

Can we spend a moment today to think about how we get angry? How we react to anger, or how we retaliate? On a deep level, let us admit that we are at fault, and make a conscious change, today. If the change does not begin with us, we should not expect it from our near and dear ones, or from our society and the world.

FORGIVENESS: A DEBT PAID

(Picture Source: CLICK)

Forgiveness is something that until you don’t have it, you don’t miss it. It’s the very fabric of any successful relationship. Without it, every relationship will crumble or simply remain broken or strained as a result of inevitable broken trust. I say inevitable because it is impossible that no offenses should come. In other words, we are human and therefore make mistakes and hurt others with our selfish actions (i.e. offend others). One of the primary challenges of extending forgiveness to another is that it is by its very nature gracious, that is, it is undeserved favor bestowed on the person in the wrong, the “offender”. If you are asking for forgiveness and believe you deserve it, then you’re not *actually* asking for forgiveness (grace), you’re asking for justice (what you [think you] deserve); which probably also means you don’t really view or understand what you did as wrong. By very nature, when you forgive someone, you are releasing them from the debt they owe you, from receiving what they deserve, such as your rejection and anger. But without fail, when an offense occurs, *someone* must pay the emotional, financial, or spiritual debt owed. This, ultimately, is THE most difficult part of forgiving a loved one.

It is tempting to sometimes understand “justice” (in the sense that you want the other person to pay for their wrong) as the opposite of being merciful, but this is an incomplete understanding of the difference between justice and mercy. Justice and mercy meet within forgiveness. This is because in forgiving someone, you are paying for the debt that they owe you, balancing the proverbial scales of injustice. This is what makes forgiveness difficult. It’s not a matter of simply saying, “I forgive you”, “It’s OK”, or “No problem”. In order to forgive someone, *you* must incur the debt that *they* owe you. Some describe it as “releasing another”. But this difficult act of releasing another becomes easier for those who have genuinely experienced forgiveness. That’s because forgiven people have a different perspective. Forgiven people, forgive people. Forgiveness is a gift that, when received, can be freely given to (or withheld from) others. Most of the time, when someone is withholding forgiveness, it is simply because they have not experienced it themselves (or they have but there is a lack of understanding or genuine reception). There is a kind of proverb that reads, “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that releases from debt, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” Simply put, forgiven people, forgive people.

Are you merciful and forgiving? Have you experienced forgiveness or do you consider your life a meritorious endeavor? I don’t take forgiveness lightly because I know how incredibly painful and difficult it is, but as one who has experienced it in a deep and profound way, it has been one of my greatest joys (and challenges) to extend the same free gift I’ve received to the people around me.