Forgiveness. Far easier said than done. I hope you’ll read this blog to the end. There’s quite a lot at stake!
To be honest, I don’t know if I had anything serious to forgive anyone for until:
3rd year of Uni;
2nd proper girlfriend;
1st time I got cheated on.
I remember how she came rushing in to my flat on that Saturday morning, looking like she had been crying, putting a note into my hand, and then turning around and leaving. Safe to say when I read her letter of confession, forgiveness wasn’t the first thing that popped into my mind!
But as I curled up in my bed, a mixed bowl of tears and rage, I don’t know how much time passed before I suddenly heard God’s quiet and gentle whisper:
“You’ve got to forgive her; remember the Lord’s prayer you always pray:
“Forgive us our sins, as WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO SIN AGAINST US.””
This sentence struck me like a tonne of bricks! What I had been saying all those years without much weight suddenly carried all the weight in the world: ‘I cannot expect to receive God’s forgiveness (which my very Salvation depends upon), if I am not willing to forgive others.’
I don’t know if you’ve ever had to forgive someone or have ever thought about forgiveness in this way?
As I processed everything throughout that day, the feeling of betrayal was still as strong as at first, but I knew I HAD to forgive her but I also knew I couldn’t do it in my own strength. So I prayed, and asked God to help me to be able to forgive.
Perhaps if you’ve been hurt, and are holding on to any unforgiveness, you could make this your prayer too.
How long it will take to forgive someone completely will vary from person to person. And perhaps, also depend on the size of what needs to be forgiven!
For me, it took months, but I can tell you, I got there (eventually). She and I are still good friends today. God not only helped me to forgive, but also healed the wound and pain I experienced.
And I know if He can do it for me, He can do it for you too. Just ask Him.
BUT what about if you are the person who has wronged someone and needs to ask for forgiveness?
I recently had a chance to be the mediator in a deep conflict issue between my mum and sister. I experienced firsthand how saying “Sorry” for wrongs we’ve done can sometimes be AS difficult as forgiving wrongs against us! I was amazed!
But thankfully, after a few hours of convo, my mum got there. She said sorry; and wow! How wonderfully healing this was for my sister!
Can I encourage you, with everything I am and have, if you need to say sorry for a circumstance in your life, fight through whatever holds you back, and do it; as soon as possible!
On that note, I probably need to stop (as soon as possible!) Hopefully my words have been helpful. Jesus’ words leave no two ways about it:
“For if you forgive people their wrongdoing, your Heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing”.
I know these will be hard words to read for some. Remember, just ask Jesus to help you.
He knows what it’s like, and He is willing.