You Are Forgiven
Slogans (or life mottos) are very important to me. I use them in a variety of ways:
To remind me of who I am and of whose I am.
To instruct me in how I wish to be or act.
To console me during setbacks.
To galvanize me for action.
I have many slogans in life; most find their roots in biblical themes and my Christian heritage; some spring from wisdom literature that, while not overtly Christian, embrace biblical ways of thinking.
The slogan I want to focus on today is as follows: You are forgiven even before you act. In The Our Father prayer, which I pray multiple times each day, one element reads, "And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors" (see Mt 6:12). Based on this verse, it seems apparent that God's forgiveness of our day-to-day sinfulness is predicated on our having already forgiven those who've hurt us. Based on this, I have a suggested practice for you to engage in today, and it involves using the above You Are Forgiven slogan.
Write out the above slogan on a 3x5 card, and then recite it as often as you think to do so today. The objective here is to develop a greater propensity to forgive beforehand those (including yourself) who offend you. This practice can also help you stay more present with what you're feeling when someone does hurt you. And it can help you, too, to be more willing to give those around you (especially those you love and care about) the benefit of the doubt when they (and, most likely, unbeknownst to them) rub you the wrong way. We all need such allowances, don't we?
Throughout the day, repeat this slogan over and over again. Every time you say it, smile; and when someone slights you, say it to yourself, and say it also (though somewhat silently) to the person who just offended you.
And don't forget to smile.
In addition, if someone treats you poorly and then apologizes, smile at him (or her), accept his apology readily, and wish him a pleasant day.
Engaging in this practice isn't easy; but with practice, it will become less difficult and may even become fun. Yep, you read that right: fun. You'd be surprised at how much fun and freeing it can be to be unoffendable (or, at least, difficult to offend). It can also make you more fun to be around. Just a thought...
IKIGAI Weekly Blog Schedule (per The Training Trinity):
Mondays: Meditative Prayer
Wednesdays: Holistic Discipline
Fridays: Martial Arts Practice