I've learned a few years ago there are times when giving means forgiving.
Last weekend a former neighbour came to "borrow" my garden spade. His former landlady had asked him to dig up some plum trees from that place so they could be planted where she has moved to. He made a point of saying that he would be careful that the landlady would not lay claim to my spade and declare it hers. He knew she had a history of doing such things. I counted on him to bring it right back. - But it has not happened.
Now I've had a rough week with feeling resentful, knowing that is wrong, and trying to forgive. Then for a while I feel I have let go of that spade and it no longer matters to me. On Wednesday I even went to buy a new spade for myself because I needed one to turn over my flowerbeds.But then a little while later I missed it and resent the fact that my former neighbour did not keep his promise to bring it back. Suddenly I remember other times he has not paid back money he has "borrowed" etc.
By now I have forgiven several times, and then dug up the offended feelings again. Gradually though, each time I go through this I am more convinced that if I truly want to be a generous person there will be times when giving means forgiving - letting it go. I miss Dad's old spade, But I am hereby considering it a gift. I have no longer lent it out, but given it away.
Is there some area in your life where you will not have peace of mind until you have given away in your heart, what was taken from you in a physical or emotional way? It will not be easy, but then Jesus stands ready to help us as soon as we ask Him. He even forgave those who crucified Him. Jesus has the experience and power to do this kind of giving, and He is eager to help us do it too.
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