I know, I have written about forgiveness before. And I will probably write about it again. You see, forgiveness is not about a “one and done” type mentality. It is about an “everyday” kind of mentality. Actually, make that an every-second-of-everyday.
Let’s face it people are messy. They intentionally hurt others and sometimes they unintentionally hurt others. When others mistreat you, you are called to forgive. No matter what that person did to you. Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” When you read this verse do you think “Epic Fail” on the other person’s part? Verse 31 (same chapter) says “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you along with malice.” Yes, there is an epic fail, but it is on our part. We are to set aside those thoughts of anger, malice, wrath, slander.
We are called to be the example of Christ for others. That means we must be kind to the unkind, tenderhearted (caring) to the hardened hearted, forgiving the unforgiveable. When we have unforgiveness in our hearts, we are holding onto the pain of that hurt so tightly that God cannot show us His grace. I had a pastor talk about holding onto something so tight that you cannot receive love. Because you cannot hold onto pain and receive love due to the closed fist around your pain. Think of it as you have a coin (this is your pain). Someone wants to give you a better coin, but you would have to let go of the first coin in order to receive the other, better coin. This is how forgiveness works.
When we forgive, as God forgives us, then we let go of the bitterness that the event caused. It is not forgetting that the event happens, but it is not allowing the event to hold you in place. Meaning you cannot grow in faith with unforgiveness in your heart. Anxiety creeps in, bitterness and revenge seeking feelings also come in.
(I want to say to whoever is reading this that has been hurt so deeply by someone else’s action, I understand. I have been there. I could not share parts of my story because of the actions of someone else. I knew forgiveness had to happen. But by not sharing I allowed Satan’s lies to creep in and twist my thought process. I blamed myself. I know you are blaming yourself for what happened. Stop that! You did not ask for it. No one asks to be hurt by others. Moving out of the “my fault zone” can be tough; however, you need to reprogram that lie. God is the great reprogrammer, scriptures are His programming tools.)
Reconciliation is not required. God does not say we have to reconcile with a person who has done us wrong. If we are the one to bring peace and bring them back into the faith, then He will arrange it. The only reconciliation that is required it between you & God. I wronged someone; it took years for reconciliation to happen. I first had to listen to the prompting of God to go and talk to her. When I finally did, it was a huge misunderstanding. But what if we are talking something deeper than hurt feelings or the little misunderstandings. Other’s actions against us in a physical or mental way cause more than just hurt feelings. However, the end result is basically the same. We are called to forgive. If you cannot forgive then it is a sin, no matter what actions happened to you. James 4:17 “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is a sin.” Unfortunately, we fail at this so many times. Treating others with kindness, being gentle in speech, or just loving others.
What is holding you back from forgiving a wrong? Where does that leave you? If we need to forgive, then it can only happen when we openly talk to God. “This person did this to me and caused this hurt in me. How can I forgive this person for the wrong they did me? Lord, only you can help change my heart towards this person.” Did you know you can pray for someone who hurt you? Talk about a heart changing experience. Give it a try. If you ever need help, someone to walk you through scriptures about forgiveness, or to pray with you, then send me a private message.