Picking up where we left off yesterday…
“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
When we’ve been hurt, wronged, or betrayed, and we’re left to deal with it all, how do we get to this point? How do we get to the point of forgiveness?
Friend, sharing from experience, there’s no right way to get there. There’s no “magic formula for forgiveness success.” Your situation is unique and personal, and so will be your forgiveness.
As we talked yesterday, when the hurt is big and the last thing we “feel” like doing is forgiving our offender, that’s when it’s critical, out of love for God and love for ourselves, we forgive. The backlash of not forgiving is bitterness and bondage.
You’re too important to remain in bitterness and bondage.
I was betrayed and hurt pretty severely not that long ago. The damage done was far more reaching than my little life, but still. It’s challenging to forgive when there’s no apology, and no sign of regret or remorse from the offender.
I wanted to hold a grudge. I wanted to never see or speak to my offender ever again. Yet, being a former experienced grudge-holder, I knew how awful and how heavy grudge-holding can be.
I also knew what God says about forgiveness. Mark 11:25 reads,
“When you pray, if you remember anyone who has wronged you, forgive him so that God above can also forgive you.”
Out of love for God, and love for myself, I took this offense to the One Who could handle it. If I didn’t, I’d remain in bondage. Bondage that would restrict tighter and tighter, and weigh heavier and heavier, with each passing day.
I desired to be free of it. I wanted to say, “I’m finished with it.”
I asked God to help me forgive. I repented of my bitterness and anger. I asked Him to remove the hurt. And over time, as I continued to give the offense over to God, my heart softened and healing came.
And I experienced the freedom of forgiveness.
Love includes forgiveness…
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Colossians 3:12-14
If you’re working through hurt today, keep working through it. Don’t bury it. Don’t push it aside. Give it to God. Ask Him to help you forgive your offender. Keep taking it to Him daily. Watch what He does with it.
The freedom of forgiveness is worth working through it, friend. I promise. Love God and yourself enough to experience it.
I’m praying for you today.
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