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Forgiveness: Not Easy, But Necessary

Matthew 6:14

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

I want to talk about a topic that is often difficult for many of us - forgiveness. More specifically, the struggle we sometimes face in forgiving others who have hurt us. We've all been wounded by others in some way or another - perhaps by harsh words, betrayal, or outright acts of harm. These experiences can leave deep scars in our hearts, causing us to hold onto bitterness and resentment.


The Bible, however, calls us to a higher standard. In Ephesians 4:31-32, we are instructed, "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." This is a beautiful and challenging command, but how do we live it out, especially when the hurt runs deep?


Firstly, we need to understand what forgiveness is and what it is not. Forgiveness is not pretending the hurt did not happen or allowing others to continue hurting us. It is not about denying our pain or suppressing our emotions. Rather, forgiveness is a conscious decision to release the person who has wounded us from the debt of our revenge. It is about letting go of our right to get even and choosing to leave justice in the hands of God.


Remember, forgiveness is not a feeling, but a decision. It is a choice we make, not because the person deserves it, but because we are called to reflect the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who forgave us of so much more.


Secondly, we must remember that forgiveness is a process. It is not a one-time event, but a journey. There will be days when the pain resurfaces, and the feelings of resentment creep back in. On these days, we must choose to forgive again. We must continually surrender our hurt and our desire for revenge to God, asking Him to heal our wounded hearts.


Finally, we must lean on God's strength. Forgiving someone who has deeply hurt us is not easy, and we cannot do it in our own strength. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to help us. We need to pray, asking God to give us a heart that is willing to forgive, just as He has forgiven us.


Forgiveness is not about letting the person who hurt us off the hook, but about setting our hearts free from the bondage of bitterness and resentment. It is a difficult journey, but a necessary one if we want to walk in the fullness of God's love and grace.


Remember, our God is a God of forgiveness. He forgave us when we were still sinners. He forgave us when we nailed Him to the cross. If He, in His infinite holiness, can forgive us of our sins, can we not also extend forgiveness to those who have hurt us?


May the Lord grant us the grace to forgive as we have been forgiven. May He heal our wounded hearts and fill us with His love and mercy. And may we reflect His forgiveness in our interactions with others, showing the world the amazing grace of our God. God bless you all.