Have you ever been wronged? Has someone offended you? Has anyone ever betrayed you?
Ever considered that you could hold out forgiveness from these situations?
I’ll go out on a limb and answer for you… the answers is yes for at least one of these.
I’ll even go a little further and also say if you have been in the past, you will again experience it again too.
Forgiveness is NEVER a natural, easy thing.
It’s a part of our lives we want to hold on to because of hurt. The offense is REAL. The pain it caused is genuine. In most cases, there are scars. Some are mental, emotional, or there might even be physical ones. Also, if you can’t see them, it doesn’t make it less severe. Abuse can come from many situations; abandonment, rejection, blame, lied about, misunderstood, betrayal by family or friends.
To forgive, I am not saying you are ignoring or excusing the offense of what someone did to you. But this is where a dividing line must be drawn. Just because of this hurt, it need not go on hurting you. The enemy wants to fill your heart with hatred for those who caused this hurt. It can make you hardened, bitter, and jaded. If left inside and not dealt with, it can bind and lock you into a place where God’s healing power is not free to work.
“Forgive and forget.” People get confused about this. They think forgiveness = forgetting. You don’t forget because you can’t force yourself to ignore, but the key here is that you don’t hold it against them. We don’t bring it up again. We let it go.
Jesus was betrayed. In fact, it was one of his very own that sold him out. It might be the hardest test you will ever take. The Judas test; when someone is near and dear sells you out and betrays you.
On the cross, Jesus said, “Father forgive them.” Do you think this was easy? He was on a cross, dying and He gave forgiveness.
It will never be easy, but it is not optional. It may take time to get to a spot within you to get ready to forgive. But, don’t let it drag on for weeks, months or, for some, even years. Deal with it and allow yourself to be free from its prison. Once you offer forgiveness, the weight of your shoulders are lighter and your burden removed.
If hurting people hurt people; forgiven people should forgive people.
Show forgiveness. Shown it with mercy toward others because it reflects that we too have been forgiven. Appreciate your forgiveness by offering forgiveness.
“We all agree that forgiveness is a beautiful idea until we have to practice it.” CS Lewis
Look at these scriptures below. The power in these reminders are – not to forget about forgiving.
Mark 11:25: The context explains that if you want your mountain moving faith to work, you will need to be walking in forgiveness. Heaven doesn’t open for mountain moving faith UNTIL you forgive.
And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.
(to forgive those who threw the stones)
Matthew 6:12: Jesus taught the disciples to pray, including forgiveness, as we have been forgiven.
Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Colossians 3:13 This passage lays out what I have been saying about forgiving. But it goes one additional step. It admonishes to have mutual patience, tolerance regarding each other flaws and shortcomings which we all deal with every day.
Try to understand other people.
Forgive each other.
If you have something against someone, forgive him. That is the way the Lord forgave you.
When we try to bring justice ourselves through vengeful acts, we only prevent God from working on our behalf. The absolute key to unlocking the power of God for past hurts is to do things His way and not our own. We are to love our enemies, pray for them, and bless them.
You’ve been hurt by situations and God knows all about it. His plan for you is to let it go and not let it keep you in bondage prison of offense. Our Lord only is the Vindicator (Heb. 10: 30).
It’s time to extend forgiveness. Let’s get out of that prison we have made for ourselves. Act on it now. It will be a gift of freedom to that person and a gift to you.
Let it go!