To Love and Forgive, Be Brave

Life is full of disappointment, conflict, bickering, and struggle. Some of these are of our own making. Others are inflicted on us by others, either unwittingly or out of spite and hatred. Most, if not all, come from the fact that we have to live and work with other people. If people were to live giving in to these negative feelings and tendencies, life would be hell – as it is indeed in places where people are unable to move beyond these negative emotions.

Love and forgiveness are not easy. It means swallowing one’s pride. Others can interpret love and forgiveness as weakness and take advantage even more. But love is able to give without giving in. And forgiveness is willing to forget but remembering the lesson. In the history of man, anger and conflict has only led to a cycle of unending recriminations and violence. Only love and forgiveness can break that vicious cycle.

These days, one of Jane’s favorite songs is “Be Brave”. She sings it so often, it has become an ear-worm playing incessantly in my brain. But it reminds me that one has to be brave in order to love and forgive.

Innocence of silence
Won’t do you any good
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

It is right to praise you in Zion, O God.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.”
Matthew 5:21-26

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