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I find that forgiveness is easier when a grievance is committed against me. When a person hurts someone I care about, it is exponentially more difficult for me to forgive and forget. For instance, when someone hurts my child, I feel a burning desire to revisit hurt upon them. It is not a very Christian thing to consider, but Lent is a time for rooting out bad behaviors, so I feel the need to address it.

I recently found out that a "mean girl" in my social circle targeted a friend of mine thirteen years ago, and I want to address it with her today. I keep forgetting to look at what she did last week. Whatever happened in the last thirteen years may have changed her for the better. As a follower of Christ, it is my duty to look for the good.

I wonder how the apostles dealt with these experiences. Matthew was a tax collector in his former life, and the others may not have forgiven him right away. James and John wanted to rain down hellfire on Samaritans because they were disrespectful toward Jesus. Paul was completely changed, and yet Saul was a very real threat to the fledgling Christian community.

Whom have I hurt over my lifetime? Have I changed? Am I a Paul or am I still a Saul?

More tortuous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it? I, the Lord, alone probe the mind and test the heart, to reward everyone according to his ways, according to the merit of his deeds. Jer 17: 9-10

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