Forgive Anyone Who Offends Us

On Wednesday I considered how the word forgiveness stood out when I glanced at the transcribed copy of Dallas Willard’s paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer.

This morning I looked more deeply at Willard’s paraphrase, “as we are forgiving all who in any way offend us.” This phrase hits me harder than “those who trespass against us.” This is more personal.

Pondering those things that others do that annoy, indeed offend, us reveals much about ourselves.

For example,  I do not follow rules religiously. You could say (and some in the family do say) that I am not a rule follower. However, our Homeowners Association (HOA) told us that the driveways in our neighborhood will be seal coated. The driveways will not be useable for 24-48 hours afterward to allow the seal coat to dry and harden. We had to move our vehicles from the garage and were granted temporary leave to park on the street.

One of our neighbors parked his car on the street in front of the mailboxes. The “rule” expressly said to not block the mailboxes. I walked home from the fitness center and saw the car, I was annoyed. Later, I closed my eyes to meditate before beginning the day’s work and it came to me to relax. Not to worry. The mail delivery person here will get out of his vehicle and deliver to those four boxes. 

Why was I annoyed? Offended? That’s crazy.

I can forgive the neighbor, the annoyance that really wasn’t mine (not my mailbox) and in so doing find a kind of forgiveness for me. I can relax and move on.

That is one of the many benefits of forgiveness.

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