I was talking to my husband a few days ago on learning to forgive. We have been on both ends of the forgiveness scale, needing to seek forgiveness from somebody and needing to give forgiveness to someone. It is not an easy part of life. As a Christian though, it is a necessary one. The Bible tells us to forgive just as God forgives us. As we talked about what it takes to forgive someone, God gave me some perspective.
Instead of forgiving that person, describe the punishment that would be enough for them to redeem themselves. What punishment would be enough? I thought about this for awhile and thought of some of the things that had caused hurt in my life lately. We were hosting our lifegroup Sunday evening and it ended up being cancelled but nobody remembered to let us know. This caused me some hurt and the feeling of rejection. It made me sad and a little bit angry that our friends didn’t take the time to send a text or drop by. Worse, we had to go tell our boys that their friends weren’t coming that night. This example is a very small scale in comparison to some hurts that people have faced but I just wanted to give an example. So what would be an acceptable punishment for my friends to have that would justify my hurt?
When I started thinking about forgiveness in that sense I realized that I didn’t want to hurt someone else just because I had been hurt. I didn’t want to cause pain even though someone caused me pain. I also didn’t want to carry that hurt with me because that burden will increase in weight daily. The enemy loves when we carry our hurt around.
Forgiveness isn’t dependent on someone else, it is a matter of your heart. I think that is why God can forgive us, because His heart is most pure. He doesn’t want us to suffer so instead He suffered for us so that we may not. Even though we deserved that pain and we deserved a consequence far beyond what we will ever see Jesus loves us enough to forgive us.
Don’t let forgiveness be dependent on another’s actions, let Jesus work in your heart.
Have a blessed weekend everyone! I pray that you live boldly for Jesus!