God tells us to forgive others, so that He may also forgive us (Matthew 6:14). Sometimes, though, the storm is bigger than we imagined it would be, and forgiveness is easier said than done. If we begin to believe that there is a real beauty in forgiveness, and that forgiveness means forgetting (Isaiah 43:25), healing, and propelling us towards peace, then I think many of us would choose to forgive.
Forgiving As Christ Did
We know forgiveness is hard, but we understand it’s something God desires us to do. He states this clearly in Matthew. We also know the piercing words Christ said on the cross: “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” Isn’t that a beautiful, hard truth he said amid his own pain? Forgiveness is remembering that moment in our daily lives, allowing it to seep in and fill our hearts so that we can do the same to those who hurt us.
Our God of the universe is telling us to forgive, not because it’s a mere command, but because He knows the power in forgiveness. We can choose to forgive, forget and press on the way Christ desires for us; we become more like Christ this way, because He doesn’t keep a record of our wrongs upon repentance. If we don’t choose to forgive, we will be stuck in bitterness, revenge and anger. God’s hope for us is to live by faith, forgiveness and love.
Healing Through Forgiveness
Forgiveness propels us forward. This brings in waves of healing and restoration. Forgiveness is not entirely an emotion; it’s an act that allows the Holy Spirit to course through our veins, allowing healing, peace, rejuvenation and love to sweep in. It’s a love that covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8), a love that forgets, a love that moves on and closes the door to spite and hurt.
In some situations, forgiveness is all you can do. We’re not subjected to association with family because they’re blood; Christ’s blood makes us all family. But there are certain people that are only meant to be in our lives for a season. If some of us choose to forgive, but to not have them in our lives, we’re simply realizing that they were meant for a season, but they should know of our forgiveness. This may sound contrary to what true forgiveness looks like, but letting a family member know you truly forgive them is where peace is instilled. If somewhere along the way, someone desires to continue the relationship, then praise God. In the end, though, God truly looks at the heart behind our forgiveness.
Some of life’s strongest storms whirl around family, but we know there is a calm after the storm, and that happens when we obey and keep His commands. Forgiveness moves away mountains of bitterness and pain, and it also carries the same grace He shows us every day. We can show that same love to a family member. We can show that same love to anyone who has hurt us. God did for us. He is doing it now, and we can do the same.
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