Friday, June 01, 2012

To Forgive or Not To Forgive?

So here, there and everywhere lately people have been talking about forgiveness--and how hard it can be. But you know? Unforgiveness will always be harder on us. Little drops of poison will eventually do us in.

And some Christians keep giving excuses as to why they cannot forgive, as though their hurt is a justified exception, thinking that God, more than anyone else, will understand if they can't seem to forgive, or if they choose, instead, to wait and see if the other person apologizes first.

When actually, God, more than anyone else, will not understand. He's the one who said we must forgive others if we hope to be forgiven, ourselves.

Pat said something very powerful in her post this week about the Hatfields and McCoys:

"It brought to my attention the subject of forgiveness and how self pride will keep us from living the best life we can. We can speak "religious" words, and point self righteous fingers, but do we love?"

Wow. And for two days I've been thinking of how it's so often pride, rather than our deep hurt, which keeps us from forgiving. Not 100% of the time is it pride, but often, yes, it can be.

Christians wander around with crankiness inside and wonder why Bible verses with promises about joy, calmness, contentment, don't work for them.They blame the mean people out there (and tell on them to whomever will listen) and bad circumstances and even God, Himself.  Yet it's sad, really, how we, ourselves, block whole gushers of peace from flowing into us, then out and becoming friends with God, as well.

Some say, "Well, maybe I can forgive. Someday. But how can you forget? That I can never, ever do."

What I say? When we've truly forgiven someone--we still remember--but the pain is gone.

What we must never forget? We, too, need forgiveness for the wrong we do.  Yes, we hurt others, too! And that must humble us, for once humbled, we can better receive the forgiveness from God which we need toward others. And then we can be healed ... and then want what's best for those who trespass against us.

If we do not forgive? We've chosen to spend our short years here without peace. There will be no lasting calm, just the come-and-go kind. No joy unspeakable and full of glory, not for more than a few hours.

But if we forgive as God forgives us? He will withhold no good thing from us--Life will look and feel and be different. Better than we ever knew it could be.

And that's a promise.


Matthew 6:14-15

""For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  "But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions."

Mark 11:25

"Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions."

Romans 3:23
"For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard."



Beth said...

Very wise words, Debra. I find that sometimes forgiveness is a daily, often moment-by-moment thing. My youngest daughter really caused a lot of pain and heartache within the past year. She has since been diagnosed bipolar. And even though I KNOW that her actions were a direct result of her manic phase of her mental illness, I still hurt so deeply by the things she said and did. Some of these she cannot even remember, such is the nature of her mental illness. And she cannot live in our home right now. I find myself having to consciously forgive her each day, because those memories are still so very fresh.

And then I think of how the Lord forgives me every single minute of every single day. I think of how I have hurt him, usually unintentionally. Yet his forgiveness is ever present, waiting on me to ask and accept it.

Thank you for your thoughtful words. God bless you.

Debra said...

Dear Beth... Thank-you for being so honest. It's the honest people in Life who God is able to help the most and they become the sweetest people on Earth. Thanks so much for your comment! Blessings, Debra