Forgiveness Part Two
In the last post, I talked about forgiveness. I addressed what I go through when someone has hurt me.
What about when I am the one who has hurt someone else?
Don’t leave just yet! I’m not here to point fingers and tell you anything bad. I’m going to ask that you sit with me and be honest for a few minutes.
We all have done the hurting. Whether it was intentional or not, we have all said things in a mean way or had a tone of voice that was unacceptable. Rude. Cruel. Mean. We have all had times when we allowed that behavior to exude from our words and actions.
I have had so many moments when I have said things that I should not have said. I argue with my husband about things that just do NOT matter. My desire in those arguments is to be RIGHT. I reject humility and grace so I can be “the winner” and RIGHT. How many times have I hurt my husband because of my lack of grace? How many times have my words cut deep into his heart? How many times?
I have moments when I lose it with my kids. I have told them what NOT to do. Yet, they do it again and again. “I TOLD you to STOP hitting your sister!” “I TOLD you to stop hitting the ball against the wall!” Those times that I have displayed my impatience, my tone of voice has hurt my children’s hearts. It wasn’t my intention to hurt them, but I did.
In these times, I have felt the guilt and regret over my actions. I have sought forgiveness. I have begged for my family to forgive me for hurting them because of my words and my actions.
We don’t only treat our friends, coworkers, family or spouse like this. That, in itself, is tragic, but it isn’t where we stop.
We give our worst to Jesus, too.
Think about it with all honesty.
We have days where we ignore Him.
We have days when we act like His Word isn’t important or significant in our lives.
We tell Him that His plans stink.
We tell Him that He’s not faithful, in those moments when we feel like He isn’t right there with us.
When we face hardship, we start to cry and ask why He would ever give us hardship. (Hint: to make us grow in our faith.)
We forget the horrific death Jesus died. Horrific. Death. For you. For me.
Yet, He died for all the bad behavior that we have done. He died for the hurt that we have inflicted on others. He forgave us for every terrible act and word that we ever allowed to come from our behavior. He forgave you, me, the world. He forgave us for hurting Him.
Matthew 26:28 says, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
While Jesus was still alive, He explained that His blood would be the covenant to us. Covenant is defined as an agreement. Other words could be: contract, commitment, guarantee, pledge, promise, or bond. So since Jesus stepped in and offered His blood for us, he made a contract, a promise, which would offer us forgiveness. We accept His forgiveness and should offer it to others.
Colossians 3 says, “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” God forgave us before we ever thought about our sin. He offered forgiveness, deep and wide as his love. He put Himself in jail LONG before we ever committed the crime. He served the sentence meant for us.
Matthew 6:15 says, “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Mark 11:25 says, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
These verses are so hard to swallow sometimes. He tells us to forgive and let go. I imagine standing before God, asking for forgiveness and being told that I can’t have it because I didn’t offer forgiveness to others. That is heartbreaking to imagine! We believe that Christ died for all sin and doesn’t hold it against us every time we sin, so we also need to forgive others and let go of the hurt. We have to let each day be new and full of grace. I talked more about that in the last post: Forgiveness Part One.
I can hear you now. “You don’t know the hurt that I have endured. You don’t know how many times that person has hurt me. I don’t want to keep forgiving them!” And I can honestly tell you that I completely understand. Offering forgiveness is difficult when you have to keep offering it over and over for the same thing.
But, here’s what Jesus said: Luke 17:4 states, “Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
Let me help you with a new perspective. Do you sin? Do you commit the same sin over and over throughout a day? Throughout a week? Does Jesus forgive that same sin over and over again? YES! Aren’t you so glad He does?
So, since He offers us quick and complete forgiveness, we have to turn and forgive others just as quick and complete.
So if you are struggling to let go today, know that it isn’t always easy, and I understand. Forgiveness can be hard. However, remember that Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice to offer forgiveness to you so that you can extend the same grace to others.
Take time today to forgive. Forgive your spouse. Forgive your family. Forgive yourself. Write a letter telling the person you forgive them. Honestly, get it out, verbalize it somehow that you forgive, and then actively let it go. Allow the day to be new. Stop taking the hurt from one day to the next. Be new today. God allows it to you. Extend that same grace to others, especially those you love.
Linking up with Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLink-up.