Over the past week or so, I just can’t get enough of the new Tenth Avenue North song, Losing. It’s constantly been in my head and I often keep changing radio stations trying to find it. I guess it’s a good thing, then, that it is on every Christian radio station every fifteen minutes or so. Just in case you have no idea what I am talking about, check it out:
“Oh, Father won't You forgive them
They don't know what they've been doing
Oh Father, give me grace to forgive them
Cause I feel like the one losing”
Of course, you may recognize the first part as something Jesus said on the cross. As I have read that scripture over the years, I have always thought of Jesus’ strength. Although He was literally being killed by these people as they mocked Him, He chose to pray for them. I hope and pray that I could somehow be as strong in the same situation, but I seriously doubt it would work out that way. I seem to identify more with this person in this song.
Yes, the first part of the prayer is for the people that have been mistreating him. But then he prays for help for himself: “Oh Father, give me grace to forgive them, cause I feel like the one losing.” While it is obvious that the way others have treated him have taken a toll, it seems like the grudge that he is holding against them is just as painful.
When we talk about forgiveness, we often put it in the context of giving it to someone like a gift. We make it a pride issue and make it out like we are being gracious enough to offer our forgiveness. And while grace is an overwhelming factor in forgiveness, we rarely talk about how important it can be for our own healing.
Grudges are heavy. And carrying them around all the time can really do some damage. So if you are holding forgiveness back from someone right now, do yourself a favor and pray for God to help you forgive them. By refusing to do so, you may be doing harm to yourself and your relationship with God that runs much deeper than the original problem that made this forgiveness necessary.
If you feel like the one losing, turn your focus to forgiveness. The sooner you do that, the sooner you can get back to winning the way that God wants you to.