Why is it so hard to forgive? Is it because of the hurt? Or who we were hurt by? It’s always who we least expect it from. Or maybe it was the action? But whatever the reason forgiveness is hard and we have to a lot of it, the Bible says 70 x 7.
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven,” Matthew 18:21-22 of the Revised Standard Version
The Bible talks quite a bit about forgiveness, and we have to forgive. We have to forgive ourselves, and we have to forgive others. God forgives us every day for our sins. Every single day!
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 New International Version
We aren’t perfect – no one is, which is why we hurt other people. Sometimes intentional, and sometimes we don’t realize it. But regardless, it is wrong, and we have to forgive. Forgiveness isn’t for the person you’re forgiving – it’s for you. It’s freeing you of that burden. You carry around all this weight that’s holding you down and aren’t able to move on. But once you let it go, it’s so freeing.
It does take time to forgive. Do it when you’re ready. Once you’ve processed the hurt and understand your emotions. Ask God to help you – he will guide you, but it needs to be done. Don’t live with the pain, it will make you bitter. Let go of the hurt – it will free you. And once you let go, don’t ever look back.
I challenge you to write a letter to someone you need to forgive. Write down how they hurt you and how it made you feel. Write your thoughts, everything you wish you could tell them, and then read it out loud to yourself, and then rip it up and throw it away.
Protect yourself – yes, sometimes people deserve a second chance, but you decide. You get to decide if you want to give them another chance. You can forgive and not give another chance because you have to protect yourself. Just don’t let one person pay for what someone else did, that’s not fair.
Forgive – because you deserve peace.