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The Necessity of Forgiveness 19: What’s Your Story?

The Necessity of Forgiveness Day 16 – A Murderer Gets a Second Chance

Day 19- What’s Your Story?

What stands out most in your own life experience when you think of the word “forgiveness”? Have you had to forgive someone for something you felt was really big and really hard? Or are you still struggling to find victory over a broken relationship or forgiving someone who deeply hurt you? Or maybe you’re longing to receive forgiveness from someone you hurt, betrayed or wronged, and you wish for peace in it all. Whatever your story, it’s shaping you, either for good or for bad.

Forgiving someone might feel like you’re giving them a gift in some way, and to an extent that may be true. But for the believer, forgiving someone is a lot more about being obedient and honoring Christ in the way we behave. It isn’t a “favor” or even “letting someone off the hook”; it’s simply demonstrating the heart of Christ in our own life.

Thinking back on our own personal experiences with forgiveness, the most impactful moments are likely those in which we’ve received forgiveness. Those moments are so freeing and bring a new tenderness to the relationship. When we know we are not in good standing with another because of our own words or behavior, it’s hard to feel any peace or joy until it’s resolved. Oh, the relief that comes with reconciliation!

Forgiving someone who has hurt us can be so challenging; again, our pride is a huge factor here. Yet we can’t discount the hurt and painful experience, and when it’s a deep hurt, it’s understandable that we can’t change our feelings with the flip of a switch; it’s more of a process. Yet during our wrestling in it, we must, as believers, refuse to give in to bitterness and allow it to jade us in any way. While we may struggle inwardly to feel a sense of peace in it all, we know the Holy Spirit can give us the needed help as we process the situation.

It’s a good practice to regularly ask ourselves, “Is there anyone I’m not on good terms with?” and “What part of the fracture can I own up to?” Both forgiving and being forgiven are part of our experience as sinful humans. While some infractions are minor and don’t seem to affect us as much, others can cause us much difficulty and distress, slowly diminishing our usefulness for God if we don’t resolve them.

Whatever your story regarding forgiveness, we pray that it’s led by the Spirit and not the flesh. As we’ve received forgiveness from God the Father, we must, in turn, offer it from a heart that desires to please the Lord and make choices and decisions in ways that will bring honor and glory to our Savior.

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