We discussed the difficult verses about our forgiveness being tied to our forgiving at small group last week. I mentioned that I had heard once that this can be understood better by doing it rather than trying to reason it out. I had some experience with that this week. I sometimes hold grudges. I don't know if I do this more than other people, but I know that I do it. I don't think of them day after day so much as never get rid of them, so they pop back in uninvited whenever a name or a situation comes up again.
When we do this, we think of it as normal. Of course, we remember and resent someone who was critical of us in a vulnerable time. Wouldn't anyone? Of course we remember and resent the people who helped ruin something we cared about. Isn't that just natural? But when we think of that as normal we smuggle in the idea that God must be that way, too. We think He must remember and resent when we did something selfish or angry. If we consciously think that we reject the thought immediately, knowing that God is not really that way. But I think that's just an intellectual exercise and we revert right back to our old thinking unless we have practice in what forgiveness is from doing it ourselves. We only believe it about God when we have some inkling of it in ourselves.
Which means I personally am screwed, of course, but maybe my thought will be useful to others.