Forgiveness is something that has always been hard for me to understand, especially when it involves my dad. God laid it on my heart about two weeks ago that I was supposed to write about forgiveness but I struggled because I didn’t want to write as a hypocrite. How can I write about forgiving someone when I’m not sure I truly have? Once again a blog topic had me on my knees before the cross. God is good like that.
I’ve been praying more about this topic than I have probably any of the others and it was in prayer one morning a few days ago as I was driving to work when I had one of those “Ah-Ha” moments. I love it when God does that. I love that He’s using this ministry to show me where I need to grow.
One of the concepts I have struggled so much with when it comes to forgiveness really boils down to trying to forgive in my own strength. There are times when people hurt us along the way and forgiveness seems literally impossible. I know what the bible commands me to do. I’m commanded to forgive, but how in the world do you forgive someone who’s not sorry? How in the world do you forgive someone who does the same things over and over without being sorry? How do you separate forgiveness, and allowing a behavior to continue? That’s when God really opened my eyes.
The first thing I did was ask with all of my heart “How can I forgive him when he’s not sorry? How can I forgive him when he hurts me over and over again?” God said “just as I have forgiven you. Remember those times you knowingly hurt Me, knowingly sinned against Me and weren’t sorry? Remember those ways when you have hurt me over and over with the same behavior? I have forgiven you. I have forgiven you before you were even sorry.” It was then that it all made sense to me. He didn’t point that out to me to rub those times in my face, but to show me in a very extraordinary what grace and forgiveness really look like. I realized that have been trying to forgive in my own strength. There are years worth of hurts I have never asked God to help me forgive and move passed. Sometimes when life hurts, He’s the only one who can really heal our wounds.
The second thing I did was really looked in depth, with an open heart to what is commanded of me. There are times I have literally rolled my eyes at the thought of forgiveness on certain things, even when it came to Gods word. I’ve heard many scriptures about forgiveness, ironically at times being quoted by the one messing up so I’ve hardened my heart to what His truth says. What His truth commands of me.
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
9 He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.