February 14, 2018
Forgiving someone who has wronged you is one of the hardest but most important things God has called us to do. In fact, scripture tells us repeatedly that how we forgive others is how God will forgive us:
If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done. Matthew 6:14-15
And when you stand and pray, forgive anything you may have against anyone, so that your Father in heaven will forgive the wrongs you have done. Mark 11:25
Do not judge others, and God will not judge you; do not condemn others, and God will not condemn you; forgive others, and God will forgive you. Luke 6:37
If forgiving others is truly the only way God will forgive me, then I have a lot of work to do. Minor insults or grievances can be easier to forgive, but forgiving someone who has really hurt you can be difficult, especially if they do not ask for your forgiveness. More often than not, people don’t seem to notice or even care that they hurt another.
Forgiving someone who did not ask for your forgiveness is extremely difficult, but it is exactly what God has called us to do. Luckily we have Jesus’ example to follow. He said, even as he was hanging on a cross,
Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do. Luke 23:34
If Jesus could forgive the people who nailed him to a cross, I can certainly forgive the guy who cut me off in traffic, or the friend who talked about me behind my back.
When someone is wronged, a natural human reaction can be anger, bitterness, or a need for revenge. But harboring a grudge never helped anyone. It only ends up hurting you more. Forgiveness is the only way to get rid of that hurt, and even though the offender may have never asked for it, or know that you have forgiven them, God does. Be the kind of person who forgives, and you will be free of your anger, bitterness, and hurt.
Youth Representative, Perdido Bay UMC