I struggle with forgiving others because, many times in my mind, the person who has wronged me does not deserve my forgiveness. Pretty harsh, huh?
But, that is our human nature… it is not in us to automatically dish out forgiveness to those who have wronged us. We easily slide into the “victim” mode and hold that wrong against that person. We know the toll that unforgiveness can take on your life and your body, and why it is important to forgive for yourself.
But, why should we be concerned about how forgiveness effects the other person(s)? Especially if he/she is unapologetic. Shouldn’t they be made to “suffer” in our unforgiveness? They surely do not deserve our kindness and forgiveness, right?
No, no one deserves forgiveness. And forgiveness for a sin against us is not a requirement in this world. However, forgiveness is a requirement in the Bible.
How many times did God forgive the Israelites for their idolotry? They did not deserve it! And David? He wronged many, yet God forgave him. I won’t even begin to list Solomon’s many sins, yet he was called the wisest man to ever live, and was forgiven by God. David and Solomon did not deserve forgiveness, yet it was given to them both.
Jesus died on the cross for us, even though we did not deserve it. Jesus did this for us because He loves us… He wants a relationship with us. Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection tore the veil (barrier) that was between God and man. It opened the door for a father-child, friend-and-comforter relationship with Jesus and His Father.
Even though forgiveness may not be earned, and not deserved, as children of God we are to give it.
Do some wrongs require a bit more time to forgive? Absolutely! I am not telling you forgiveness is immediate. In some cases, it cannot be immediate. That is when forgiving for ourselves comes into play. We have to decide if harboring unforgiveness is worth it or not.
I must confess, that forgiving those who have wronged me is extremely hard for me to do. I have a lot of pride, and sometimes it is nice to let them “wallow” in my unforgiveness. I like to make ‘em sweat. Yes, I am a pastor’s wife and I don’t easily forgive people.
Obviously, I have a lot to work on.
Forgiveness is not always easy… but definitely worthwhile for both you and the other person(s). Who knows what kind of example you and your forgiveness can be for that person and others!
Forgiveness does not mean you forget. I believe that once you have truly forgiven a person, you still remember the wrong, but it doesn’t hurt as badly as it once did. And once that person begins to try and earn your trust again, that is when the forgetting begins.
Once we forgive for ourselves and others, that’s when we work on the forgetting…
Design by: Amy Loves It! *Photo by: Markus Merz*