Reminded of Forgiveness
Some time ago I was asked to speak on forgiveness. This person would never have known that I had been speaking with someone that very week on forgiveness. I was telling her that she needed to forgive someone of a very deep hurt and that would be the only way she would be able to move forward.
This topic has not crossed my path since, that is until recently. I had a very brief conversation with a friend, and while I didn’t forget the conversation, I forgot the topic, until this morning when I went to move a marker in my bible and the word jumped out at me.
By the way, I’d been praying for a topic for two days and nothing had come. I decided to get out of bed anyway, with phone in one hand and my bible in the other. I’ve been learning to exercise my faith where writing is concerned.
I was never one to hold a grudge. It’s just not my personality. But then life throws you some real curve balls, and hurt, disappointment, and anger roll in. I had a choice to hold on to all of these and let it consume me. But I couldn’t. It just isn’t my personality.
I grieved the time period that was, and chose to let it go. I read somewhere that forgiveness isn’t about the other person, it’s about you. Holding on to past hurts can literally and figuratively make you ill. I have no control over other people’s behavior. The only thing I can control is my reaction. And then I’m reminded in Romans 12:17-21 NIV
‘Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.’
Choose to Forgive
Let me assure you that I’m human, and it took a while to get to the place of being able to be kind, and follow the above passage. In one quote, it states something along the lines ‘strength is forgiving someone that didn’t show that they were sorry.’
As I said before, choosing to forgive was for my own well being. I had to choose to let go, knowing that if there were any consequences that God would do it.
When David sinned against God and tried to number the men in his army, even though he had been successful in battle with whatever men he’d had in the past, God gave him a choice of three punishments. David, in his wisdom, begged for forgiveness and chose the one that was directed by God.
Sure enough, after 70,000 men had been killed, God saw what was being done and commanded the angels to do no more harm. I’m saying this to say, not all the things we do will be free of consequences, even when we beg for forgiveness. But in all of this, God is still good and shows us mercy.
Forgiveness Sets Us Free
I know that I’ve made some not so good choices along the way. Sometimes I’ve been able to go to the person and ask for forgiveness, sometimes that isn’t an option, and I can only go to God for that forgiveness. But thank God that He’s merciful and He forgives. Not everyone who has hurt you will come for forgiveness, sadly, sometimes they don’t even know what hurt or damage they’ve caused. Yet, we walk around with years of hurt, and the other person goes on to live their life in a carefree manner. That’s why I’ve learned how important it is, that forgiveness sets ME free, and not the other way around.
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for your love and forgiveness. Help us to be forgiving of one another, so that we may be released of past hurts. And Lord, when it is too much for us to bear on our own, help us to seek wise counsel who will not try to fan the flame of anger, but who will help us to go through the healing process in a healthy way.