Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:12-13)
This has been a difficult thing for all humans to do is to forgive someone after being hurt, and more important to forgive ourselves for any and all of our short comings, and when we did something wrong. As I was reading a post from rethink church they share the following words, of why we should forgive. By forgiving someone we are choosing to let go of our pain in which we do carry and sometimes we carry that pain a long time. It is never easy to forgive anyone however when we ask Christ to help us to forgive the person that hurt us it becomes a lot easy to do. And if Jesus can forgive our sins shouldn’t we do the same?
Before the act of forgiveness can begin, there is the inward struggle of addressing the topic. Because letting go of pain and forgiving the responsible party involves both examining the wound and summoning the desire to move past anguish. Beyond even that, there is the seductive tinge of self-righteousness that comes with carrying a grudge (You hurt me. You should beg for my grace.) Rather than forgiving those who unjustly convicted him as Jesus did just before he died on a cross, the injured party would rather cry out to God, ““Forgive them not, Father, for they knew what they did!””
To live out our faith and confront our own suffering, we have to look in the mirror and ask hard questions…
Do we actually want to forgive? If not, why?
These questions form the root of the problem. As with all matters of the self, the ability to admit an issue comes first. Does a victim of bullying even want to forgive the bully? The injured party will likely feel this is unnecessary work since s/he isn’t at fault. Shouldn’t the bully apologize? The natural answer would be yes, but what if the apology never happens? The victim of the slight has his/her own decision to make. Even though time can heal a wound, the scar remains.
Maintaining a grudge requires a certain energy and a desire to indulge the pain. And the urge to engage in long-lasting self-pity may appear surprisingly attractive. That same self-pity can lock us into our current state, denying us the chance to grow spiritually and emotionally. Beyond that, bearing a grudge prevents us from experiencing greater strength and peace.
What does it say about us if we truly can move past this pain? And if we choose not to?
Forgiving does not mean forgetting. A trauma did occur, and that memory will not vanish. Yet we have control over our reaction to pain. Choosing to move past anguish draws upon a strength we often don’t know we have. In making that choice, we frequently surprise ourselves by developing a reservoir of resilience. When we forgive once, we’re more likely to summon the spiritual strength to forgive again.
What do we gain from forgiveness?
In a word, closure. Again, this does not mean erasing the memory. Rather, this is an opportunity to exercise one’s freedom and spiritual maturity and discover a lasting peace. Without releasing the pain, we can become its perpetual victim and rob ourselves of growth. Forgiveness also declares that the grace and mercy that Jesus showed on the cross is alive in us. An added benefit of forgiveness is gaining the ability to help others experience the same outcome.
Do”Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written. “It is mine to avenge, I will repay says the Lord. (Romans 12:17-19)
Grace and Peace to You My Friends