Forgiving can be difficult to say the least. We often withhold forgiveness because it provides us a false sense of power or control when we feel powerless. “You hurt me, I hurt you” or “tit for tat” is often our flesh’s response. The act of forgiving, is often the hardest thing to do. Perhaps, it’s because by not forgiving, we feel protected or that we have in some way, avenged our broken hearts. Only we, through experience know that that is not true. In not forgiving, we and not the object(s) of our hurt, are left to wear the scars of an unforgiving heart. Many have heard that forgiveness is not for the one that hurt us, but for us. Of course, we don’t want to hear that forgiveness should be the gold standard, but it is what God requires of us.
“But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15)
“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?Jesus said unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21-22)
“If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him” (Luke 17:3b-4)
Forgiving is Difficult; But Not Impossible
In reading the above scriptures, it doesn’t appear that forgiveness is optional. In fact, not forgiving carries with it a terrible price, one we cannot afford to pay. I don’t know about you; but I do not want to pay the price for disobeying The Most High; “For it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). No one is perfect! Yes, forgiving can be downright difficult and feel counterintuitive, but it is necessary, nonetheless. Dwelling on the hurts of our past expends an enormous amount of energy which could be focused elsewhere. Anger, bitterness, negativity, or self-pity will serve no good purpose in our lives. They only wreck-havoc on our mental, physical, spiritual, emotional and overall well-being. Having a victim-mentality will stunt our spiritual growth and if stunted spiritually, we may not be in the position to grab hold of our blessings.
“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do you.” (Colossians 3:13)
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
What Say You! To Forgive or Not to Forgive
Life is too short to waste even a moment carrying around resentment and an unforgiving heart. It is not healthy nor is it useful. Let it go! If forgiving others is so difficult to fathom, maybe you should view it from a different perspective. Rather than focusing on how you have been wronged and how you can’t forgive; Think instead on all the times you have grieved the Most High God, whether ignorantly or willfully and sought His forgiveness. “And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses” (Mark 11:25). In the Lord’s prayer, we ask the Father to “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). The Most High’s forgiveness is contingent upon you forgiving those who have wronged or trespassed against you. So what say you!
“Judge not, and you shall not be judged: condemn not, and you shall not be condemned: forgive, and you shall be forgiven” (Luke 6:37).