Until you’ve been hurt bad enough- you don’t understand how hard forgiveness is. Forgiveness is done not just for the one who hurt you, but forgiveness gives God a chance to start healing your heart. Forgiveness is acknowledging that you are broken and choosing to let God put the pieces back together.
If you are hurt badly, you might not want to forgive because you feel if you forgive someone you are justifying their actions. You might believe that by forgiving someone you are giving up and saying what they did to you was ok, but that’s not what forgiveness is at all.
Whether we like it or not, it is not our job to decide what is right because we do not have a clue what true justice is. Life is not fair- it will never be. “Fairness” is an illusion because the universe is not run by “what people deserve” but by Christ’s mercy and justice that we will never understand. That is a blessing because if God chose “what people deserved” we would all perish in a fire.
Isaiah 43:25-26 "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. Review the past for me, let us argue the matter together; state the case for your innocence.
Christ is the only true judge and since he has offered us forgiveness, we have a duty to forgive each other. We have slaughtered Christ- sending him to death on a cross: one of the most imaginably painful and terrible forms of death. We have committed murder of the worst kind, how much more should we be willing to forgive our brothers for small sins against us no matter how much they hurt us.
Matthew 6:14,15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Here are 3 attitudes that help with forgiveness (taken from the book of “Inverted”)
1. Be understanding. Seek to understand the offender and the reasoning behind what they did.
2. Be obedient. Do not rely on feelings to help you forgive. Forgive because you know that Christ is calling you to forgive and that as a Christian you must forgive if you want forgiveness.
3. Be prayerful. Realize that you cannot completely forgive someone on your own- but only with Christ’s help.