When You Choose to Forgive (Writer’s Opinion)


By Carol Round, Special to ASSIST News Service

CLAREMORE, OK (ANS – May 17, 2015) —  “Forgive, and you will be forgiven”—Luke 6:37 (NRSV).

Upset she had cheated my son out of $30, I didn’t want to forgive her. I was also mad at myself because I had been used in the process. I guess it’s because I trust too much, trust others to do unto me as I would do unto them. However, I failed to remember not all people are trustworthy.

My son had agreed to purchase two items through an online site where people buy, sell and trade merchandise. Because the seller lived in a community closer to me, and because my son works odd hours sometimes, he asked me to contact her, set up a time to meet and pay for the merchandise. I agreed.

We met nearby in a public place where we made the exchange. Because I trusted that my son and this woman had made the deal, and he knew what he was getting, I got into my vehicle without checking the merchandise. Placing them in the cup holder beside me, I noticed a small part had fallen off one of the items. Picking it up, I discovered the part could not have broken off just by my handling it. It had been broken when she handed it to me.

I knew the seller hadn’t gone too far up the highway so I called her. I was trying to be gracious when I said, “The merchandise I just purchased from you…something is wrong. A piece fell off.”

She replied with, “Well, there was nothing wrong when I handed it to you.” By the tone of her voice, I knew I’d been had—or at least my son had lost $30.

I replied, “Maybe there is an explanation and I just don’t know how to put the part back on. Could you please come back and show me what’s wrong?” I still sincerely believed she might feel remorse and return where we could make an exchange and I could get my son’s money back. I was wrong. Although she agreed to return, she didn’t. I sat there for at least 15 minutes before realizing she wasn’t coming back.

I texted my son to share the bad news with him. Inside, I was fuming, angry that someone had taken advantage of my son as well as me. After exchanging several texts, including an apology for not checking the merchandise before I handed the cash over, my son replied, “No biggie. Besides, I have her phone number and a sense of humor.”

A sense of humor? Mine had deserted me. Holding onto my resentment for this woman, I carried it with me the rest of the day, gnawing on it like a dog does a bone. Later that day, God brought to mind that He had forgiven me my sins and I needed to forgive her. I decided to pray for her. I couldn’t continue to let her rob me of my joy.

In her book, “7 Prayers that will Change Your Life Forever,” author Stormie OMartian, says, “Forgiveness doesn’t make the other person right, it makes you free.”

Email carolaround@yahoo.com  for information about speaking at your next event. Check out the author’s blog at www.carolaround.com  for more inspiration.

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