“There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.” Bryant H. McGill
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Forgiveness. What’s love got to do with it?
You’ve been wronged. You’ve been hurt. What the person did to you was unacceptable. There’s no apology to follow. It feels as if your world has been turned upside-down. And it may seem as if the person has “gotten away” with what he or she did without any consequences. You feel betrayed, stunned, and your heart is as heavy as a 100-pound weight.
And now, you’re left to deal with it.
Friend, I understand. I have lived it, and some day I’ll share the full story. For today, though, may it give you comfort to know someone else understands. Even though I don’t know the details of your pain, I know it’s awful.
You may be familiar with what God says about forgiveness. There’s much in His Word about the subject, and I can look them up and quote them here ’til the cows come home. But until we come to grips with what to do with the hurt, the pain, the betrayal and suffering, forgiveness is the last thing we “feel” like doing. With scriptures in front of us or not.
If I may share from experience, the offense will lead us to one of two places…
Either freedom or bondage.
And we have something to do with which side we’ll land on. We have a choice. We can either choose to forgive and have freedom, or choose resentment and be in bondage.
I’m not one to tell you what to do, or how to specifically do it, but I can tell you, when you are hurt and betrayed, loving the person who offended you isn’t the first thing on your to-do list. That’s when it’s becomes critical to love God and yourself enough to forgive.
To love God enough to trust Him with your hurt, and to love yourself enough to not be in bondage or in bitterness one second longer.
You are too important to live in bondage and in bitterness.
The freedom that comes from loving yourself enough to forgive is powerful and priceless.
Tomorrow we’ll dig a little deeper. I will share how I worked through a particular hurt and offense to live in that freedom of loving myself enough to forgive, even when I didn’t feel like doing it.
Forgiveness. What’s love got to do with it? Everything.
“You can’t forgive without loving. And I don’t mean sentimentality. I don’t mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, ‘I forgive. I’m finished with it.”‘ Maya Angelou