Don’t shy away from forgiveness

By  Sarah Du Broy, YSN
  • February 18, 2007
Do reserved people seem stuck-up to you? When some people avoid conversations, it’s easy to assume they are pretentious. However, that’s not always the case. Your peers may unjustifiably perceive you as arrogant without you knowing it.

I spent four years studying theatre at a French arts high school. Everyone in my class was outgoing and energetic except for me. My teacher and the other students didn’t like the fact I kept to myself. They were under the impression I was stuck-up. I eventually felt left out and understood that they misinterpreted my behaviour.

I slowly began to look down on my classmates along with other students who were going to parties, getting high and drinking too much. Some of my friends got into drugs and instead of praying for them and helping them find an alternative “high,” I found new friends.

St. Francis of Assisi said that it’s “more important to understand than to be understood.” The natural extension of this statement is to love even when you won’t receive love in return. Jesus died for us out of love yet we were the ones who crucified Him. This is the example we are to follow. St. Francis of Assisi added, “It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”

In St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians (2:3-4), we are asked to set our interests aside. It says, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you not look on your own interests, but to the interests of others.”

When we help others, we shouldn’t expect anything in return. This is very challenging because it goes against our sinful nature, but it’s possible if we fully rely on God. I see now that I should have prayed for my theatre friends and encouraged them on the right path, even though my shyness told me to stay away. 

In his first letter to Timothy 4:12, St. Paul says, “Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” If we humble ourselves before others, they’ll see God’s love shine through us and desire it too. However, if we act as if we’re better than them, they’ll drift further away from God. Shy people open up to their close friends, but they shouldn’t put other people down. When they judge others, they’re acting in a prideful and unloving way. Perceptions are subjective and are often inaccurate. If I judged my theatre friends unfairly, it’s now time for me to ask God’s forgiveness and theirs.

If you are shy, you may be misperceived by someone as stuck-up. Forgive them and love them anyway. You may know someone who appears stuck-up and they have hurt your feelings. You may be wrong about them, but even if you are right, forgive them and love them anyway.

When you struggle with humility, think of the word FAMILY (Forget About Me, I Love You). Remember to pray for those who hurt you and don’t judge others based on your perceptions because they may cause further damage.

(Du Broy, 19, studies journalism at the University of Ottawa.)

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