Struggling to Forgive
Do you struggle to forgive? I understand the challenge of forgiving a troublesome person. Forgiveness isn’t easy. My first instinct is to lash out and cause them emotional discomfort. But this gets me nowhere. I have come to the realization that through Jesus’ example on the cross, we can unlock the power of real forgiveness.
For example, when my ex-wife wanted divorce, devastation emerged. Shock set in, and I couldn’t grasp the reality of a permanent separation. After the divorce papers arrived it become real.
This enraged me and it took me years to forgive her.
In fact, bitterness and resentments blocked my ability to forgive. I refused to let go of the emotional anguish and stayed drunk for eight years, drowning those hurt feelings. My anger towards her coupled with alcohol abuse led to self-destructive behaviors.
The Power of Forgiveness Through Christ
One day in desperation I asked for God’s help. Thoughts of suicide were a regular occurrence. But God intervened and delivered me from evil.
First, God provided me with the strength to get and stay sober. Then the Lord introduced His Son, Jesus Christ.
As the result of Jesus, my life changed.
You must wonder how I overcame my forgiveness dilemma?
I found the solution in Christ’s forgiveness.
Here’s the interesting part of God. When He forgave me, it opened my eyes to the power of forgiveness. Even with this new outlook on letting go of sinful thoughts, forgiving her stayed elusive.
It took time to reach the point of forgiveness.
What was my solution?
So, through prayer, I connected with God, and He showed me His forgiveness through the death, resurrection, and ascension of His Son Christ Jesus.
I think you’ll agree with me when I say Christ died for the forgiveness of sin. How awesome is that? Jesus paid the price.
If God sacrificed His Son to forgive humanity, then I must do the same!
With this in mind, it allowed me to see the trespasses I did to her. So, when I repented of my sins in our marriage, it became easy to forgive her.
And the best part is the grace God gives when we forgive others. This is the power of forgiveness and this spiritual truth makes forgiveness worth the effort because it connects us with the Holy Spirit freeing us from a hardened heart.
So, the more we live in His Spirit, the stronger our bond with Christ, leading away from an unforgiving soul.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 NIV