It’s so cool how the Holy Spirit will prompt us to different things. I’ve felt my heart pulling to this subject for a few days and through conversations with Amber, through reading, and through songs I have heard, I had to touch on forgiveness today. This is a big area for us all.
How often have you encountered people and situations where you felt so hurt and betrayed that you found it to be impossible to forgive? This could be unforgiveness to someone that cause you and your loved ones great pain by their actions whether it resulted in death or some other tragedy. It could be dealing with parents that were absent in love and guidance growing up that brought lasting effects as you entered adulthood. It could be dealing with friends or others that have just wronged you in someway. These are just a few examples, but certainly areas where people may have trouble finding forgiveness within yourself for those people. Each and everyone of us have dealt in someone with people that caused brought enough hurt that finding difficulty can be challenging and sometimes feel impossible.
This can be a difficult subject for many people. It is very easy to hold on to pain and anger towards others for a long time. Holding on to it so much that it consumes you and brings out more anger each time you think about it. I’ve certainly dealt with my share of difficulties. If you wanted my Testimony video, you hear me touch on this briefly. After the loss of my Dad, I had a long bout of anger toward the individual that hit his commuter van, resulting in it losing control and causing his death. I was very angry for some time. I did not want to forgive and held a lot of hatred. For the longest time, I did not know how to manage with that difficulty and if I could ever find it myself to forgive.
Around Christmas, 2011, I picked up a book called “The Shack,” written by WM. Paul Young. If you have not read this book, I highly recommend it. This book turned my entire mindset around. I finally found what it really meant to forgive. It turned my views into understanding that I had to forgive. I knew that I could no longer selfishly ask God why such things could happen also. It was not His will that brought about that tragedy. In this fallen world, however, we are not immune to evil and tragedy. We have to embrace God’s love through that difficulty and know God for who He is. When we embrace His love, we learn what it means to forgive.
This same thing holds true through any difficult challenges we have with anyone and any situation. God loves us through all of our pain and tragedy and even when we do wrong ourselves. I read a great C.S. Lewis quote this morning that said, “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” Each of us has the responsibility to learn how to forgive others through any circumstance. God loves each of us, so much that He was willing to do whatever it took to win us back, no matter how much we were consumed by this world and our offenses toward Him. The book, “The Sacred Romance,” highlights that God loved us before creation and before the fall. He has never stopped pursuing us and will go where ever it takes to get us back. He loved us so much, he came into this world through Jesus to pour out his blood to forgive us all and secure our seat at the wedding feast.
Look to Jesus’s parable of the prodigal son. Even after his son left and lived a wild and carefree life, when he reached the point of brokenness, the father welcomed him with open arms. That is the type of love God has for us. No matter where we go, He will always forgive and pull us back with open arms. With that much love for us and that willingness to forgive, how could we not forgive others.
I know this can be a difficult subject for many. You may be faced with the struggles of dealing with a situation that you may hold so much anger toward and have challenges with trying to forgive. If this is you, spend some time in prayer and Scripture on this. Understand that God loves you through everything you have done yourself and no matter how much you fall short of His glory. He will always pursue us through our faults and sins. God forgave us, so we must also forgive.