Matthew 6:12 (NLT) “..and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who sin against us..” – Jesus.
“As long as you hate (someone) you give that person control of your life. …It (forgiveness) doesn’t happen over night but when it does it opens up a whole world of possibilities”. (From a TV show, I don’t remember which one.)
I am still working on forgiveness of certain people from my old church. I don’t want to forgive them most of the time, but I know I should. Why should I forgive someone who did verbal injury to a family member when they deserved support instead of condemnation and gossip.
The verbal injury was so deep it has caused my family member to question God to the point of almost losing faith in Him. And those same people who did the injury are quick to say “There is no excuse for anyone to walk away (from the church which in their mind equals walking away from God)”. There is also no excuse for treating people the way they do.
Good News: Forgiveness is healing. But it is so hard. It must be hard for the other person to acknowledge what they said or did so it must also be hard for them to forgive their “target”. It works both ways. Sometimes it seems that we can forgive without going to that other person and telling them – they probably would not understand why you need to forgive them and you would have to explain and it might start all over again. All the pain. Or maybe not but it would be too frustrating to have to explain when you think they ought to know.
More Good News: With forgiveness comes healing – maybe not right away, but slowly and then one day you wake up and think “I forgive that person”. And then you might wonder why it took so long. The old adage should be rewritten “Sticks and stones will break bones which heal in a few weeks, but words hurt for a long, long time and are far more hurtful than a broken bone.”
Someday maybe all the hurt won’t hurt so much and when I think of those people and the harm they have done I won’t have all those bad thoughts going through my mind. It is getting a little better.