Recently, a conversation was replayed that I had been a part of years ago. In hearing it the second time I was the bad guy. I was described in the story as being presumptuous and incredibly ignorant. I think the person telling it didn't remember it was me, at least I choose to believe this, for I was standing right there. And the second time hearing this conversation I feel no different about the particular debate. So, that would make me still presumptuous and ignorant.
It's not often anyone gets a second chance at a conversation. I found it ironic this person was still so strongly upset about someone else's personal opinion. That my 'presumptuous' and 'ignorant' words had that kind of power amazes me.
I had to think that one through. I still have the same opinion I did years ago on this matter and the person that thought it was so 'wrong', still feels disgust over something so trivial. What does this say about me or the other person? Am I truly with lack of class and tact as they have made me out to be in their mind? And why does it still bother this person? What makes us behave so and hang on to hurt?
On the part of both people, pride was hurt. Mine didn't come till now having finally realized my opinion was misunderstood all those years ago. The other person's hurt was a point of pride too. I'm guessing here because I still don't see what was offensive about my thoughts on this matter. But they are a person too and that I hurt them matters to me.
The more I think it through the more mixed up I get. The hurt of the other person seems based on a story they have made in their mind of my intent. Is that fair? No, of course not. But does that give me the right to nurse the hurt along with them? At some point someone has to stand back and realize this is an endless train going nowhere fast.
And so I forgive. I ask God for grace to not hold on to past hurts and fresh ones too. I ask God to make the story whole. I ask Him for understanding on the heart of the other person. Maybe there is something going on that I missed. Maybe I was simply born without the tact gene. Whatever. God knows and I can rest in that. If it is a big deal to Him, I trust He can reveal it to me. My responsibility is to give God my stories and let Him edit whether or not my personal hurt is worth nursing or not.
What the other person decides to do with his/her story is their own responsibility. I can't make it better for them, their story has been built. Only God can change it. I can only forgive and have compassion for the pain that I have caused them.
And to realize that I am terribly human and can also have mean and nasty thoughts about other peoples good and valid opinion is also very helpful for letting go of my own sad and sorry state. I am not good alone. I have not tact alone. God is my Helper. I shall not be ashamed of what man can do to me...or what I do to man.