The first book I read this year was Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg. If you have been following this blog at all you have seen several posts about this book because I had an awesome opportunity to preview it before it ever cam out. Well it’s out now and I read it so I wanted to share my overall thoughts with you and then concentrate on one thing that really hit me.
There are two things that I absolutely love about this book are Margaret Feinberg’s writing style and that every chapter offers a different way to live wonderstruck in your life. Margaret Feinberg paints a picture with her words. In the first chapter she describes the Scottish highlands in a way that I felt as if I was there even though I have never been to Scotland. In another chapter she describes alpenglow, an optical phenomenon and makes me long to see it in person some day.
I also loved that each individual chapter could have been a topic of a book in itself, but it wasn’t. Margaret ties several different topics including forgiveness, mourning and others that most people struggle with and she helps you see how to live in wonder through those struggles.
For me the chapter that resonated the most with me was chapter 8 on forgiveness. Before I read the chapter I had planned on writing a blog on forgiveness and another on this book, then after I read the chapter I realized that I needed to write a blog on both at the same time.
Normally I am pretty good at forgiving people, not to toot my own horn, but I tend to let things go pretty quick. I say tend to, because I’m not always quick to forgive. In facet I have been struggling to forgive someone for something for quite some time now. I can hardly think of this person without getting upset. I have returned calls to this person when I knew they wouldn’t be able to answer just so I didn’t have to talk to them. They messed with my head and it’s hard for me to move passed that.
In the book, it talks about Peter’s question to Jesus in Matthew 18:21. “How often should I forgive someone who has sinned against me/ Seven times?” In those times it was common to forgive 3 times, so Peter was being generous with 7 times, just like I think I am generous when I do it once. Jesus blows the lid wide open on forgiveness though when he says you should forgive someone 77 times. That is ridiculous! 77 times, the same person, possibly even the same sin? Jesus couldn’t [possibly have meant that right?
I love what Margaret says. She says, “In essence, Jesus says,’Forgive wholly, and you will find yourself whole; forgive completely, and you will find yourself complete.'”
If you really look at your life and the way you have sin towards God, 77 times for us forgiving someone else would pale in comparison to how many times God has forgiven us. Shoot I am sure there are some times where being forgiven 77 times would barely cover one day. God has fully forgiven us for every sin we have ever committed so who are we to withhold our forgiveness of someone who has sinned against us? Who am I to do this?
I am not going to lie, it will always be a battle for me, but I am starting on this road to forgiveness. I have been wholly forgiven and now I need to wholly forgive.
Who do you need to forgive today?