the hardest thing about forgivness
As Christ hung there on a cross with a broken body and the weight of the sins of the world, He didn’t ask God to save Him. Jesus asked that God forgive those who were putting Him to death. As believers we are told to look to Jesus when it comes to forgiveness because He is the prime example but, it can be the most difficult thing we do. Broken hearts, words used like daggers to cause overwhelming pain, evil acts that can never be undone…how are we to forgive? No matter how small the grievance, forgiveness never comes easy because the hardest thing about forgiveness is forgetting.
Scars are a constant reminder of prior wounds and sometimes remembering them can cause actual physical pain. Even after years have passed some of those memories can haunt us, cripple us, and delay our purpose. As we hold on to the pain that connects us to the past it’s so much harder to forgive let alone forget. Are they one in the same? Can we truly forgive without forgetting? The answer is yes! If we were to forget what we’ve endured and how we’ve overcome, we’d never have a testimony to encourage others.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
Our thought life has a lot of influence on how and when we forgive. There is a godly perspective we can apply to the way we forgive those who have caused us harm. Empathy helps us to place our lives in someone else’s shoes and when we do that it brings an understanding. Our pain may not lessen but the ease in which we can forgive is strengthened. Being mindful that not everyone is whole, or good, or saved helps us to see our scars and experiences in a whole new light.
“…and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” Matthew 6:12
One of the greatest motivating ways to forgive is to remember our own flaws. We believers should always remember the parts of us that under construction, those broken places hidden from others that we need God to continuously heal. What awful things are we capable of without the grace, love, and protection of our Father? With the weight of this responsibility, to be forgiven the way we in turn forgive, should help us to remember our need to be in good standing with God.
“But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you.” Matthew 5:44
When we’re having trouble forgiving and forgetting the terrible things people have done to us, we have to remember that we aren’t doing this in our strength. It takes a personal relationship with Jesus to be transformed into a believer who can extend grace and mercy. The hardest thing about forgiving may be forgetting but, the easiest thing about trying to forget is Jesus on a cross dying for us, to endow us with the strength to forgive.