“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
As I read the above scripture, I nod my head and agree with what it says. I know that I need to resemble my life after His. I even know that His grace is upon me, so I must instill the same grace upon those that have offended me. But why is it so hard? Why is it so hard to forgive those people in my life that have wronged me? Because they’re my enemy and they know not what they’ve done? Because God isn’t present in their life like He is mine, so show them mercy? Or is it because God is trying to show me that if I forgive them, regardless of who’s right or wrong, that I will be the victorious one in Him?
We have all been wronged in our own lives. We’ve all struggled with having been wronged and even wanting revenge. Both you and I know that at some point we’ve pondered our revenge tactics; it will make it all better in the end, we’ll show them who’s boss! But will it really? We know the earthly answer may be a yes, while the biblical answer is most definitely a no.
I’m struggling with this issue right now. I’m struggling with an injustice that has been placed in my lap. Why? I follow God with all of my heart. I connect with Him whenever I can throughout the day. I read my devotionals with as much devotion to Him as I can. And I pray daily for His strength to better all areas in my life. I know within my heart that I am a follower of Christ. So why if the above mentioned is true, would I be allowed to deal with such unfairness? Because I feel God is allowing me to make the choices I need to make, to further my relationship with Him. He’s allowing the trust I have for Him to grow. And I even think that if I put His plan ahead of my own, I will be the one to be victorious.
So that being said, how do you genuinely find forgiveness for those that have wronged you? I study His word, I pray, and I wait patiently for Him to guide me.
The issue I’m currently involved in has taken me weeks, months, and even years to come this far; and I still haven’t arrived at where I fully need to be, nor want to be. I struggle with knowing I’ve been the one stomped on, trampled over, used, and taken for granted, so how can I forgive them? Because number one, I want to. I want to know what that promise of forgiveness feels like. I’m tired of feeling angry, being spiteful towards them whenever they get mentioned, and I’m sick of being sick over it. I want to shed forgiveness on them so that I may be set free. I want to be that person we’ve all heard about: The mother who forgives the prisoner for killing her daughter in a drunk driving incident. Or the man who forgives the molester that took his innocence many years ago. I know my incident doesn’t even compare to these two situations, but the one thing that does compare is the freedom their hearts now have, the freedom to forgive and be set free.
The definition of forgiveness is:
To excuse for a fault or an offense; pardon. 2. To renounce anger or resentment against.
Those are hard words to swallow when you’re angry, full of hate, and want revenge, I know this, but what it will do to your spirit and your soul to have the capability to do so. Oh, what a joyous feeling that has got to be!
I’m learning to let go of my own anger, hate, and revenge with my own situation. I’m not there 100 percent just yet, but I’m getting there. What I’ve found along the way is freedom starting to show itself. The freedom I’m experiencing is changing me. It’s changing me in ways that I never knew possible. I’m less bitter, less angry, and my judgment placed on the offender is less. I feel freer, less tied down with the ugly emotions I held onto previously. I have Him to thank for all of that.
I hope that wherever you are today, whatever you’re doing, you’ll take the time to reflect on what I’ve shared. I know it’s easier said than done, but take that time out to have Him show you where you can improve and where you can make different choices that will lead you to forgiveness. And in the end, I hope you experience the freedom that comes along with learning how to forgive.