Definitely not an easy thing to do.
Even I, myself, am not exempted from it. I’ve had failed friendships and relationships in the past.
Many relationships end because of a lack of forgiveness.
My heart is heavy as I write this post. This brings me back to my old friends I’ve stopped talking for years. ‘Yung tipong, mas OK pang magkanya kanya nalang kayo para di kayo magkasakitan? I guess, may ganyang klase talaga ng pagkakaibigan. Plus, the fact that most people in our lives just come and go.
Another thing that made me talk about forgiveness is the story of the people dear to me. Let’s just say their childhood was quite a nightmare. But how they forgave those who wronged them was astonishing! I can’t imagine how they’re able to do that.
Can You Find it In Your Heart to Forgive?
On the recent devotional email that I received from the Berean Bible Society, Pastor Ricky Kurth talked about forgiveness. He said,
When asking for forgiveness, the world has an expression they frequently use. They say, “Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?” But to paraphrase an old saying, they are asking others to look for forgiveness in all the wrong places! “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9). Any forgiveness that someone finds there is likely to come with conditions and many strings attached.
If you are finding it difficult to forgive someone, rather than trying to find it in your heart, find it in God’s grace.
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as
God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32)
Find it in God’s Grace
That short meditation reminded me that when forgiving someone, it should be in God’s grace. Some people may have wronged us big time, we don’t think we’ll ever be able to forgive them anymore…But God can! His grace can! Ptr. Kurth even added:
Perhaps you are thinking, “Pastor, you don’t know how this brother offended me.” It’s true, I don’t. But was it more than how your sins offended God? Yet He forgave all of your sins by His grace, and now asks you to forgive your brother by grace. God was “satisfied” with the payment Christ made on the cross for your brother’s offense (Isa. 53:11), and has forgiven him for what he did to you. If you fail to forgive him by God’s grace, that means your standards are higher than His.
Wow! What a great wake up call for us! That we ought to forgive, even when they don’t apologize.
I remember one of my favorite movies, Fireproof. There’s a clip in that movie that talked about God’s grace. Check below:
In this clip, Caleb, the main character of the movie asked his dad, “How am I supposed to show love to somebody over and over and over, who constantly rejects me?” He’s had enough of trying to “fix” their marriage. That’s when his dad reminded him that it was exactly what God has done.
We sinned over and over again and yet that didn’t change God’s love for us. He didn’t want us to suffer damnation for eternity, He sent Jesus to die on the cross for us.
If that is not the greatest love and grace of all, I don’t know what is.
So, it is only by grace that we can forgive those who wronged us, 100%.
Forgiveness benefits the person who forgave
If we think forgiveness benefits the person we forgave, we’re wrong. The one who benefits the most when it comes to forgiveness is the person who forgives. She’s freeing herself from all the negativities the conflict has caused her.
I have forgiven an old friend whom I haven’t seen in years. Not because she asked for forgiveness, not because she explained herself, but because I decided to forgive to free myself from all the hurt I got from her. I forgave so I could move on with my life happily. I forgave so that one day when we see each other again, I can say that it is by grace that I was able to forgive her. Here’s a very powerful testimonial about forgiveness that I saw recently. I was really moved by the story of the “girl that was kidnapped.”
I’m not saying it’s easy, I’m saying it is possible with God’s help.