Forgiveness is a word I have heard a lot in the past 3 years. I’ve also had to apply it…even though there were times I really didn’t think I could, but by God’s grace I was able to.
You see, true forgiveness comes from the heart. It’s not just saying “I forgive you” when someone says they are sorry. In fact, we need to forgive even if people don’t ask for our forgiveness. Right about now you are probably thinking “No way! I wouldn’t forgive anyone unless they apologized first. I have a right to be angry and hurt!”
The Bible says…
“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.” Matt 6:14-15
Notice it doesn’t say anything about the other person asking your forgiveness before you can forgive them? It just says to forgive. Not only that, but it also says that if we don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive us.
So let’s see what we get if we don’t forgive someone….we are angry, bitter, hurt and, like the Bible says, God won’t forgive our sins. Seems like a pretty heavy price to pay!
Now let’s look at what we have if we do forgive…we have peace, love and healing, and God forgives us our sins. Now I don’t know about you, but I think this sure sounds like a lot better deal!
I personally know the struggle of forgiving people without them asking for it, and I know it’s not easy, but it is SO worth it! Prayer is a HUGE part of being able to forgive. Ask God to help you. And it isn’t always just a one-time-and-it’s-over kinda deal…there may (and most likely will) come times when Satan brings that old hurt and anger back to your mind and you need to pray and ask God for help and also remind yourself that it’s forgiven and you are not going to dwell on it…I’m speaking from experience on this one.
I want to just leave you with this to think about…bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for other person to die. The only one you are hurting by not forgiving, is yourself.