Humans do few things better than fail. It’s part of our makeup. God put His Spirit into us -earthen vessels (or cracked up pots) – and as a result, we’re going to blow it from time to time. The result: we commit huge goobers (faults) and others will commit them against us.
Forgiveness is a cornerstone of our Christian faith walk. Without it, salvation and redemption would be empty and meaningless. Just as we have been pardoned, we’re told to forgive others. As a matter of fact, if we don’t’ forgive them, we won’t be forgiven ourselves! Yikes! Check out Matthew 6:14 and 15 for yourself!
So how do we forgive?
The answer is simple, but the process isn’t always so easy. Here’s the skinny: we forgive in pieces. When someone wrongs you, imagine the offense is written on a huge blackboard. When you remember it or feel it’s pangs, imagine yourself erasing it and no longer charging it to their “account”. Be gentle with yourself through this process. You may repeat this process over and over again depending on how deep-seated the hurt was. It may take weeks, months or even years to genuinely forgive some people.
Q. “What if they don’t apologize?”
A. Doesn’t matter. Just be obedient to God’s word and keep your heart free from the bitterness that comes from unforgiveness. Bitterness will destroy you spiritually and eventually even physically. Read “Betrayal’s Baby” by Bunny Wilson.
Q. “What if they want to remain friends?”
A. Pray about it. Instant fellowship is not always possible after betrayal. Here’s why: some people have been so wounded by others that they perpetuate a cycle of torment and pain. Hurt people tend to hurt other people – sometimes without even trying to do so. If the person is able to love you and be-friend you; then go for it. However, if they are wounded to the point of extreme negativity and disloyalty, you may have to distance yourself for a while.
Note: Pray about it because God may want to use you to be His light in their lives. They could be your assignment. So, pray, pray pray for guidance.
In short, God made forgiveness possible for us to enjoy the blessings of His kingdom; we must make it available to others. There’s liberty and freedom in living a life of forgiveness. God demonstrated forgiveness to us so that we can demonstrate it to others. Let’s strive to walk it out!
Indicators you have NOT forgiven someone:
1. You talk endlessly about the pain they caused you.
2. When you see them, your face still gets hot.
3. You cannot pray for them to be blessed and prosper for two straight weeks. (Try it! The Bible tell us to pray for those who hurt us. If you can’t, you likely need to work in forgiveness, girl!)