Today’s topic may be difficult for a lot of us talk about: forgiveness. Maybe hearing the word alone strikes you with a bad memory you can’t get past. Maybe you know you should forgive someone, but you’re just not sure how to. Forgiveness is spoken throughout scripture so much and it’s for good reason. When we forgive, we are made more like Jesus. Forgiveness is a picture of Jesus to others, but it does not mean it comes easy.
Let’s start with this: forgiveness is not a burden it’s a gift. So while you’re wondering, should you forgive that person that has hurt you and has no remorse for it? Yes, because that is what Christ has done for you. Forgiveness gives you freedom and helps you walk in obedience.
“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
It’s also believed that forgiveness is transactional: meaning it should come to reconciliation. That is not true or always possible. Forgiveness can come without reconciliation, many times because the relationship was not healthy to begin with — the other party has no remorse for what they did. We should pray for reconciliation and if that’s what God decides is best for us, he will bring restoration. I know many would desire that or think that is what comes with forgiveness, that may not always be possible.
The hardest thing we will ever do is to show grace to someone who will never be sorry. But that is what makes us the most like Jesus.
Sometimes we may also believe that some things are unforgivable. You can turn on the news or scroll through social media and see brokenness is evident in this world. It’s a popular belief now that even when someone does the worst of the worst, they don’t deserve forgiveness. But let us think about what Jesus endured on the cross, and what was it that he said? “Father, forgive them because they do not know what they were doing.” He out of anyone you would think that reserved the right to not forgive, but he chose to forgive!
Forgiveness is necessary, but it’s not something we can do in our own power.
“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
“Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Tips on forgiving others:
— Remember that God has forgiven you.
— Pray. Ask for God’s help.
We are designed to be in relationship and community! Forgiveness is what we’re called to do as believers.
Just because we forgive doesn’t mean we will forget what happened or you won’t feel the hurt or you won’t need to set healthy boundaries.
When we do forgive, we will experience release knowing that you did what you can to follow Jesus in a broken situation.