I can’t remember the amount of times I have heard someone say ” I could never forgive them for that” or ” Ill never forgive him/her for that”. On the surface it sounds reasonable, especially after you hear the circumstances involved. Sometimes it is sickening and disgusting what people have done to others. At first it sounds plausible to put up the ” unforgiven ” sign by their names and move on, thinking that somehow we have hurt them back.
In reality, it is we who suffer from being unwilling to forgive. Holding onto our forgiveness is one of the most destructive and hateful things we can do-to ourselves. Before I go any further I want to answer a question that I know some of you are thinking. The question being ” why should I forgive them, I will never forget what they did”. Forgiveness and forgetting are two separate issues. I can forgive my father for some horrific things that have affected me and mine into the 2nd generation. However I will not forget, and I would never put myself or anyone else in the position to be hurt by him again.
Forgiveness does not = tolerance. Forgiveness does not = acceptance. Forgiveness does not = erasing the memory. Forgiveness to others means we deliver the same thing to others that we want so badly from the ones we have hurt. Forgiveness to others means the forgiveness we ask God for can flow through us into other people and that we can enjoy the same forgiveness from God that we want sometimes to withhold from others. In the case of forgiveness it really makes no difference if you acknowledge God or not, it is a law in place just like gravity. We cannot change the consequences of gravity whether we like it or not. I hate the fact that if I walk to close to the edge of my roof, I will fall and get injured or even worse. Does this change the effects of violating gravity? Of course not.
So how does forgiveness compare to gravity anyway? It is relevant in the sense that we are made to love and forgive, not to hate and keep account of other’s wrongs. Therefore if we go against that truth and hold back on forgiving, we end up getting clogged up inside like a stopped up toilet. Everything about it is crappy. We may not understand why we are feeling so angry and irritated, and why we feel so bitter. It is because withholding the forgiveness we were meant to give means it stays within us. It dwells in us and becomes bitterness, anger and many times physical illness. In order to release any clogs in our own feelings and enjoy the Grace we get to enjoy from God, we must release what we are holding in the form of un-forgiveness to make room for our own forgiveness to be realized.
You have all seen people who mourn the death of a loved one, to the point that they die still in mourning. Many times they wear only black until the day they die even. The loss didn’t just kill the loved one, but them too. There is a time to mourn, and a time to dance and a time for everything. Not any of those events are to last forever in this world. Just as we have seen the mourning that seems life long of another human, we have also seen the lifelong bitterness in one who has never forgiven others on something. They literally eat themselves away with the cancer of anger inside. That clogged up hole in our soul just wont allow us to enjoy the forgiveness we ask of others and of God. There is a conflict of interest here.
RELIGOUS ALERT! RELIGOUS ALERT! WARNING!
The words God, sin, and Jesus appear in the following paragraphs…just giving warning -Read at your own risk! Lol
Lastly, and this is geared for believers in Christ or those considering Christ, who of us is without sin? I surely don’t want to stand before God and weigh out my sins against another’s and hope I had less..
The bible says there is ” None righteous No not one”. We all need forgiveness. How can we possibly go before God daily and ask for forgiveness, but carry a backpack full of hatred and un-forgiveness in our own spiritual backpack? I think I know the answer. Some of us truly believe that some sins are worse than others, and we get to decide who deserves forgiveness. The truth is, not one of us could ever do enough to ” earn ” forgiveness from God. The whole reason Christ came and died in our place was so those who accept Him and ask for forgiveness can have a way to stand before God one day with full knowledge that He sees us through the blood of Jesus, not through the list of sins we had.
BTW-There is no sin that cannot be forgiven by the blood of Jesus, except for refusing Him ( Blaspheme of the Holy Spirit)
The thief on the cross next to Jesus never had time to ask forgiveness of anyone he hurt or stole from. He never had time to do a bunch of good deeds to level out his sin scale. His only hope was to turn to Christ and ask Him to remember him and forgive him. The answer might offend many of us who still think we are ” good” people or ” better than most” because we really want to believe we have a secret pass to heaven because we didn’t murder or commit any ” major sin”. Jesus simply said to the repentant thief ” I say to you today you will be with me in paradise”
Hold on just a minute Lord, we may think. That is not fair! I lived a good life and he did nothing good. It just isn’t fair. Do we really want fair? The Lord said that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God eternal life. You see, sin is a disease we all have, like cancer. Some people’s disease presents in outward ways, like a thief, or an addict. These are the more likely to be judged by the ones who sin is a little more secret. Then there are the ” secret sinners” who love to point out others visible sin while they themselves may be involved in much more vile sin themselves. The bottom line is we all have sin. If we want fair, it is death, according to God. If we want eternal life we accept the gift of the cross and ask God and thank God for the forgiveness that we already posses as a child of the King.
The death on the cross should have been and should be ours. He made a way out for us.
You need not go right to the person who hurt you and have a celebration while telling them you forgive them. You can simply say to God
“ Lord, anyone who has ever accused, abused, neglected or affected me in a hurtful way, I release them by forgiving them, and therefore release myself from stopping up my own forgiveness from flowing daily that I need so much from you.”
Maybe it will be a long time if ever that you say it face to face, although it is recommended if possible. Even if you just tell God and from your heart release them from un-forgiveness, you will begin to notice a weight lifted.
There is one other option. We can roll the dice and when we die- argue our case before the Lord. We could just tell Him thanks for the cross thing, but, I’m good and whip out a list of good deeds…
As for me I think I will take the easy way out. Take the free gift and be thankful every day for it. It doesn’t give me a license to sin and does not make me a better person then others. I am not even close to being able to get myself into heaven.
But I do know someone who can, and did take care of that.
Drop the weight inside you today and forgive. Then you can move on with your life.