This post on Forgiving When it is Hard was written by Jeffrey Chen, who is pursuing a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Fuller Theological Seminary. Jeffrey has a passion for sharing God’s love with those around him. He blogs at The Wayvy Life.
Forgiveness is hard. Mostly because it usually isn’t fair. It isn’t just. You were hurt by somebody and now you want to hurt them back because they deserve it. You were stabbed in the back. You were blindsided. You were lied to your face. And now you are in pain because of it. You feel angry. You feel sad. You feel betrayed. You feel upset. You want to return the punishment. That way they will know what it feels like to be hurt. They will know how they made you feel.
God probably feels like this everyday. We make promises to God that we are going to change and then do exactly what we said we would never do again. We sin against others all the time. We lie, cheat, and steal. We say cruel things to our friends and family. We commit evils against strangers for our own selfish success. We do things we know we are not supposed to. We go against the will of God. We do not always glorify Him. And God hurts because of it. He is in deep pain because of the millions of people who sin against Him everyday. He probably wants to punish us for it too. But, instead, He forgives.
God forgave us for our sins when He sent His Son Jesus to die and resurrect for us on the cross, and this forgiveness is eternal and everlasting. No matter how many times we mess up, God offers us grace yesterday, today, tomorrow, and forever in the past and future. We deserve death, yet He gives us life over and over again. How amazing is that? I am sure God has had to forgive me thousands (probably way more) of times already, yet He does not waver in His willingness to do so.
So just as God has forgiven us and continues to forgive us for all the wrongs we do, we are to forgive others for the wrong they do to us. As hard as that may be. We are not to seek revenge. This does not mean you should ignore or dismiss what somebody did to hurt you. You were hurt for a reason, and they should hopefully recognize what they did to you was wrong. But, that is what makes forgiveness so difficult, yet so powerful. When, in spite of pain they caused you, you show them grace when you are ready to. You realize they are not perfect and they made a mistake. While it may take time for your wounds to heal and for you to trust them again, you do not hold a grudge against them. Instead, you show them love, in whatever manner you are capable of, just as God continues to show us each and everyday.
Who has hurt you recently or a long time ago? Do you have room in your heart to forgive them? I encourage you to take a step, however big or small, to forgive if you are willing to even in the slightest. You never know what it could do for yourself and for others. While it may be hard, I believe it is worth it just as God believed it was worth sacrificing His only Son in order to forgive all of us for every wrongdoing we do. May God’s strength and courage be with you.
As always, please feel free to reach out to me for feedback, questions, suggestions on topics, or anything else. I’m happy to chat about anything and everything. I hope you could take away something helpful from this post. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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