X made me angry, and I reacted wrongly. X kept coming at me, like X always does. X knew my buttons, and started pushing them again. X was wounding me.
An idea marched into my mind. I saw how I could strike back at them. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, right? X was hurting me, I feel hurt, and hurting people hurt other people. So I opened my mouth and launched the retaliatory strike. It hit X in the heart. I could tell by their reaction. I hurt them back. I left X, feeling vindicated. For one brief, soiling moment.
God - "John, that was wrong."
Me - "But God, they were abusing me?"
God - "You must call X, confess that what you said to them was wrong, and ask for their forgiveness."
Me - "But X will use that against me and things will get even worse."
God - "Stop acting like a victim and take responsibility for your own choices."
Me - "But X pushed my buttons."
God - "They are your buttons, not X's. X did not sew them onto your soul. Stop using X's sin to justify your own sin. Stop using the word 'but.'"
I called X, asking them to forgive me.
Only a free person can do this. To be free of what other people think of me and do to me is to be free to love them irregardlessly. It is to forgive them for whatever they have done to me. How free am I?