Ouch! Yep, this one just might be for me. I have been having a hard time with forgiveness lately. There are people in my life who have done their very best to make sure that I "pay" for what they perceive are my wrongs. Problem is, they are not my wrongs. So, I end up dealing with something that should not be mine to deal with and many, many other people get hurt. So, I keep asking myself, does Jesus still love them? The answer would be a resounding, yes.
As a mother, I know that I love my children no matter what choices they make, no matter what trials they go through, no matter whether I agree or disagree with their life style. I also know that loving them and accepting them is part of my calling. I know that Heavenly Father expects that of me. The problem comes when I am dealing with people who are not my children, who I trusted and cared about, and they manage to find the worst possible ways to hurt me and my family.
That is really, really hard to forgive. But having met Brother Cook, I know that he really believes we need to be more Christ-like in our lives. We need to be less judgmental and more forgiving. We need to become more like our Savior. So, as hard as this lesson is to learn, I know that I cannot vent that anger to others.
I know that I need to conduct myself more like Christ did every single day. I know that He did not condemn, even when people walked away, even when they mocked, even when they called for His death and imprisonment. He loved them through their own anger and weaknesses. He loved them in spite of themselves.
I am not perfect, but the more I seek to become like Him, the more I feel impressed to behave likewise. It is not enough to not say anything. It is not enough to simmer and keep it all inside. Somehow, I really need to learn to let it go and Love them anyway.
Remember that Jesus Himself was despised and rejected by the world. In the Book of Mormon we read about Lehi's dream. In that dream, those coming to the Savior also endured “mocking and pointing … fingers” (1 Nephi 8:27). “The world hath hated [my disciples],” Jesus said, “because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:14). But when we respond to our accusers as the Savior did, we not only become more Christlike, we invite others to feel His love and follow Him as well. We set the example. Maybe right now, they can not see, or don't want to see, but someday, I have to believe, they will.
Sometimes, true disciples must show Christian courage by saying absolutely nothing at all.
And that can be very hard indeed.