Difficult to Swallow
This article is personally one of the hardest to write, because it hurts to write this. As I’m sure it will hurt you if you follow through with it. Jesus wants us to forgive those who hurt us. But we don’t want to because when we forgive someone, it’s as if we’re letting them get away with something. And we complain and say life isn’t fair.
First of all, how can we forgive? Forgiveness doesn’t mean the pain will go away. Nor will the problem automatically be solved. This is a key concept to understand, for you can forgive someone and still feel pain. As a matter of fact, the person might not even be sorry. Such would hurt that much more. But God continues to ask us to forgive them, just as he forgives us of what we do. So remember: forgiveness doesn’t require the removal of pain or solving the problem. So what does forgiveness require? Simply say the words, “I forgive you.” And afterwards, treat the person as any other person. Treat them with love and respect. This doesn’t mean you should trust them and not use legal action against them. There’s nothing wrong with self defense, and allowing the laws of the land to be upheld. But I suppose forgiveness means acknowledging the fact that the person who hurt you is a human being who has value in God’s eyes. And the person who hurt you is to be loved and respected. Don’t get me wrong, this is very, very tough to do.
So that leads us to our next question: Why should we forgive? For me personally, I can only say that this is the part where we are to trust God. And this is the tough part, because everything around us says to not forgive the person who hurt us. God knows all, and will forever have good intentions towards you and everyone else. Read Jeremiah 29:11. God deeply loves each one of us, and desires that none of us be hurt. We are to trust God that when he requests for us to forgive others, it is because it’s the ethically sound decision to make. Trust the lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).
Also understand that forgiving our enemies doesn’t mean we are anything less. Your bad feelings do not determine your value. God determines your value, and your neighbor’s value, and your enemies’ value. It means we are of equal value to our enemies. Both me and my enemies are loved and cherished by God. So looking at our pain, God understands our point of view. But we are to still forgive. Why? Because God asks us to… That’s where we are to trust him.
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