Tough subject. Forgiveness. I remember when I was my younger I didn’t really know the meaning of forgiveness. In those days I thought it meant that if someone wronged me no matter how big or small; if I “forgave” them I was saying all was well and that person “got away” with whatever they did to me. I know now that is not the meaning of forgiveness.
One definition of forgive I found is from Webster, “Forgive definition is – to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) : pardon”. To cease to feel resentment… Wow what a gift you would give to yourself to forgive someone who had done wrong to you! It’s all about you and not about “them”. I think that’s what makes it so hard. To let something go that hurt you so bad or did damage.
I think of Jesus and. He forgave the people who called for his death by crucifixion. He was betrayed, beaten, denied, mocked, you name it; our Lord and Savior has been through it. Yet He forgave and still forgives us our daily sins. It is only through His righteousness that we are able to have a relationship with The Father.
Being wronged can hurt so deep you don’t think it is possible to feel emotional pain on that level. After the dust settles you’re no longer hurt but angry. And until you forgive, that anger becomes consuming. And it eats at you. You give that person free reign to live in your head and take control of your thoughts which undoubtedly revert to that person and how angry you are at them. It becomes a viscous cycle.
It is so so difficult to come to the place of forgiveness. It’s also so so worth it when you do finally let go of the anger for your own sake; not theirs. I’ve forgiven people and no longer have that person in my life. I don’t wish them harm. I wish them a life separate than mine.
It’s very tough to remember that we are all made in God’s image. The person that cut you off on the expressway? Made in God’s image. That person who betrayed and hurt you? Made in God’s image. You? Made in God’s image. It’s a very convicting truth and one I struggle with daily especially when it comes to forgiveness.
It really boils down to how you feel being so angry. Do you enjoy carrying that heavy emotion around? Or would you rather let go and let God and forgive and free yourself of that terrible weight?