Continued from part 2…
So, I’ve covered a problem with our attitude towards the real and the imagined, and the problem with not showing mercy. There is one last piece of this I want to put into place, and this is where the title comes in.
As I mentioned in the previous post, Shirira Hall struggled with feeling guilty long after the whole thing was over. It’s not like anyone let her forget it either, even if she had tried.
It’s because of this that I really started to feel sorry for her. Real or not, it breaks my heart when people cannot forgive themselves. I have seen it enough in real life to know how destructive it is, and to feel it myself.
I actually have a difficult time forgiving myself if I feel I’ve really done something that was intentionally wrong.
The things is, I have been tempted to wallow in guilt. To let it make me miserable, because then I won’t want to do the bad thing again, and I know people who embrace that way of thinking.
And then there are those who shrug off guilt way too easily and ought to dwell on it a little longer.
But guilt has never set me or anyone else free of their fault. It actually weakens me, I have less resistance to sin when I feel guilty, because if you feel like crud, you act like crud. But if you feel like a million bucks, you act like a million bucks.
The worst of it is, when you live in constant guilt, you lose you ability to tell when someone is guilt tripping you unfairly, and you don’t know whether you’ve truly done wrong, or whether they have misconstrued it so that they think you have.
The way I see it, that is what happened to Shirira, she did do a lot of bad things, but she made unbelievably hard choices in order to do t e right things, and she was criticized for doing it, until she didn’t know herself. She, quite sadly, started to wonder if she was destined to betray her friends.
As far fetched as her example might seem, is it really any different form us? How may of us have started to feel like we are doomed to fail, to bring unhappiness, to let people down? I know I have felt that way in the past.
But I am no longer laboring under that kind of guilt. I broke free. So it is possible.
I have often wished that there was a way to change the show so Hawk Girl found peace with herself, because it might have helped people.
But this is the best I can do at using her story for good. And it still works, because we know what should have been.
She should have been forgiven. She should have been shown kindness by more people. She should not have been constantly reminded of her mistakes.
And if you find yourself in a similar situation, rest assured, it is not right. You do not “deserve it.”
The truth is, we all deserve such treatment from God. But not from each other. None of us are sinless, or anywhere near good enough to have the right to judge each other to that extent. If God can show mercy, (He delights in it, according to the Bible,) then we sure as heck have no right to complain that it’s not fair. Like Jonah did,
I always feel sorry for Jonah when I read his last words, how could he have missed what God was doing so much as to wish to die? Yet it is possible to be so full of hate that you’d rather die than see your hated people live. You’d rather drag them down than be lifted up. It’s very sad.
I trust no one reading this has that problem, but if they do, God can fix it. I recommend reading what He tells Jonah, it is little quoted, but it tells something of how God views mercy.
Mercy triumphs over judgment, every time. Mercy has a miraculous effect on people, it has made hardened killers sob, it has made people on the brink of suicide find a new reason to live, it has broken the pride of the proud who judge people unfairly.
Mercy has made the fearful find the courage to be brave.
Mercy can take the red out of your ledger. (Avengers reference.)
Mercy is the first attribute of Love that we recognize as such.
And, it’s not actually that hard to get, if you just ask. But ask the right Person.
One more thing, those who know they need mercy have a lot easier time receiving it. They won’t make such a complicated mess out of believing. They respond the quickest.
And while there are other ways of finding the truth, the path of mercy may be the simplest.
But, like Shirira, if you get too deep in the mire, it can be difficult to believe there is any way out. And that’s the whole point of this post. There is a way out.
You can do your worst, and still be forgiven. And I want everyone to keep in mind that we all have done our worst, and most of us have been forgiven even by people, so we have no call not to extend that forgiveness. Though it is not easy; it has often been a long fight for me to be able to do it. But it’s really about making it a priority. The rest follows.
Okay, I think that wraps up this series. Thanks for reading, and until next time–Natasha.
Click on pictures for captioning.