The other day I was going through some of my things and found a video of a band I use to be in. As I was watching it I came across one of our songs called “I Cant Forgive, What I Can’t Forget” As I listened to the song I started thinking about the title of the song which was also the chorus. Many times in our lives we are faced with situations in which we are to forgive someone. I’m sure someone out there reading this is already thinking about a person that they have a grudge against. Forgiveness is not weakness or telling the person what they did was OK. It is letting them know that what they have done wont be held against them in the future. It is there decision if it happens again or not. We have all made mistakes and have been forgiven ourselves. But I believe the hardest person to forgive is ourselves. Who knows us better than us? We know our hearts and our minds. We know the potential we have to screw up again. I look at it this way, because over the years I have had a hard time forgiving myself for things I have done. If we realize that Jesus will forgive us and he knows us better than we do we should be able to get to that point and forgive ourselves. Forgiveness requires us to look deep inside and evaluate what we did, why we did it and putting into place ways not to let this happen again.Forgiveness does not come easy for most of us. Our natural instinct is to recoil in self-protection when we’ve been injured. We don’t naturally overflow with mercy, grace and forgiveness when we’ve been wronged.We forgive by faith, out of obedience. Since forgiveness goes against our nature, we must forgive by faith, whether we feel like it or not. We must trust God to do the work in us that needs to be done so that the forgiveness will be complete.
I believe God honors our commitment to obey Him and our desire to please him when we choose to forgive. He completes the work in his time. We must continue to forgive (our job), by faith, until the work of forgiveness (the Lord’s job), is done in our hearts.Corrie Ten Boom, a Christian woman who survived a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust, said, “Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, and to realize the prisoner was you.”
We will know the work of forgiveness is complete when we experience the freedom that comes as a result. We are the ones who suffer most when we choose not to forgive. When we do forgive, the Lord sets our hearts free from the anger, bitterness, resentment and hurt that previously imprisoned us.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.