We see a lot in the Bible about forgiveness. If we want to be forgiven, we are to forgive. Yet we are told that we are saved by grace, we have been redeemed by Christ dying on the cross, we are washed clean of our sins. So then why does Christ tell us we must forgive all the time?
I have come to realize for me when I am angry with someone, when I am upset with someone, when I am not forgiving it harms me. They have no clue. Their days are not ruined and harmed by what they did (most of the time). When I am thinking about what someone did to me, to my children, to my parents, to my friends, to my family I become bitter. My heart becomes hardened. I become angry, short tempered, and irritated to those who are around me.
The biggest issue with all of those things on is that nine out of ten times I am not around the person who has done the wrong. So I am taking it out on those I love. I am taking it out on myself. Then it really hit me as I was really thinking about the verses I had been reading. Those who come and repent I have zero issues forgiving, it is forgiving those who do not ask for it. The forgiveness for those who don’t come back is for ME.
I need to forgive for me. What good does it do to be angry at someone who is not around? What good does it do to be angry at someone who is around you? When you are upset or angry and the person is near, a lot of times you can talk to them and work it out (if there is good communication). However when you are angry at someone who is not around, you think about it, you fester on it, you just become bitter, mean and negative. That isn’t of God!
God is love. God is light. God is your protector, a positive influence on your life. The devil is the darkness. He is your accuser, and when you focus on him and all that is wrong, you turn negative.
You see that forgiveness we are told to do isn’t for the other person. It is because God doesn’t want the accuser to be residing near us, in us. He wants us to be a positive person so others can see Him through you! Especially if those people know what you have gone through, know what you were angry about and see you come through the others side a positive person!
What is even better is that Christ was here on earth, He became human, He knows these feelings and so He understands what it takes to forgive. He knows that you can not just say I am forgiving, especially over certain things and it just goes away. He knows it takes time. He knows you may need to forgive a hundred times before you actually feel the forgiveness. He doesn’t want you to give up working on it.
There is something else that I have learned on my journey of forgiveness. You can not forgive a person and still be angry about what they have done. Forgiveness is not forgetting what has happened. Forgiveness is not holding it over their head. Forgiveness is not holding it in your heart. Forgiveness also does not mean putting yourself back in the same situation. Sometimes you have to forgive but walk away. Sometimes you have to walk away and then forgive.
I have done some things in my life that have needed forgiveness. I probably have not asked everyone I have wronged for that. I have had a lot of things done to me in life that have hurt me. Emotional scars are hard to work though. It is a must though. Your past affects your present, if you do not work through it. Even if you don’t have a person asking for you to forgive them, you have to find a way to forgive.
There are times when I think I have forgiven the past and then something happens and it rears its ugly head again. It can be very frustrating. Then I need to take a step back and really think about what is bothering me. Is it the past that I have not forgiven or is it something new that is bringing angry out or is it a combination of the past and the present. Is there something new going on that is similar to something from the past.
Forgiveness is for you. Forgiveness is for you and your relationship with God. Forgiveness is for you and your relationship with those who are in your life daily. Forgiveness is hard and it is work. Forgiveness does not happen overnight but it is all worth it.
Another side of forgiveness is about you being able to say you are sorry. We can be angry and upset at ourself for not saying sorry. Then we have that inner self beating of unforgiveness inside.
What is forgiveness? It is so that you are not filled with hatred. It is so that you can shine and show others God’s light. It is for your own personal joy and happiness. Forgiveness is also about asking others to forgive, it is about being able to say you are sorry.
Forgiveness is a necessity in this world, in our lives.
Are you needing to forgive someone? Maybe the person you need to forgive is yourself?