Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Is it really losing?
The best and most challenging song I've heard in a long time is called "Losing" by Tenth Avenue North. It's all about forgiveness, which has not historically been my strong suit. They hit the nail on the head with their lyrics, talking about how we feel we have a right to our pain and we tend to think that if we just hold on to it long enough then maybe the other person will recognize that they're in the wrong. The particular line that always hits me is "We think pain's owed apologies and then it will stop, but truth be told it doesn't matter if they're sorry or not. Freedom comes when we surrender to the sound of God's mercy and his grace"
Too many times over the years I've found myself holding on to hurt, demanding an apology like that's going to make it stop hurting. But the truth is, that's not how it works. It stops hurting when you decide to stop letting it hurt you. For a while I wouldn't even listen to this song when it came on the radio, I'd turn off the radio instead! It was so hard for me to accept the fact that I wasn't gaining anything - and the people who hurt me aren't losing anything - when I was holding on to the past.
Maybe you don't struggle with forgiveness like I do. I know people who you could stab in the gut and ten seconds later they wouldn't be mad anymore. They probably won't let you come that close with a knife again, but they're not mad. I have to teach myself to be that way, because my natural inclination is to hold on to that pain, remind them of it every time I see them, remind myself of it every day, and all in hopes that this will somehow bring them their just reward.
I guess I was missing the part where I'm not perfect.
I was thinking about it today, as I caught myself mulling over past pains again. I have no problem saying that, with a past like mine, I have no right to judge people. I do my best to accept everyone because I know that I certainly have screwed up. But somehow, in my human brain, I missed the part where I was forgiven of those screw-ups, and so I really have no right to not forgive others.
The chorus of this song says "Father, give me the strength to forgive them, because I feel like I'm the one losing." It's accurate. And I think from now on that's going to have to be my prayer.
Watch the youtube music video here