Think about that person… You know who I’m talking about. The one you love to hate. The best friend who back-stabbed you. The girl who cheated on you. The guy who didn’t care that you said “stop.” The father who was never there for you. The mother who would rather perfect you than love you. Go ahead. Think about how much it hurt. Think about how angry it makes you. And think about forgiving them.
Yeah, I’m going there. Forgiving that person you can’t forgive. Um, hello. Welcome to my life. This is something I’ve struggled with FOR YEARS and now I’m talking about it.
I thought about it. I thought about all the terrible things that people have done to me. And I realized that a lot of those people are Christians. And those sins that were done against me, are covered by Christ’s blood and God’s grace. Those who aren’t Christians… They could be my brothers and sisters in Christ one day and the same rule applies to them.
The worst wrongs ever done to me. God says to them “I forgive you. I do not hold this against you.” So why can’t I say that? I hated thinking this. I knew I didn’t forgive these people and yet God could.
But then I thought… I’m no saint and I’m sure anyone who has known me well enough could agree with that. You know those people that get up in front of church/chapel/small group/etc and say “I am a sinner. I am not perfect.” and the crowd nods and murmurs “amen” while they think about how they themselves are not perfect? Yeah, well I’m the person that gets up, says “I am a sinner. I am not perfect.” and every person in the crowd that knows me laughs and says “I know that’s right!”
I know I have hurt people. I know I have wronged people. But I also know that God has forgiven me for that, and that grace? That undeserved gift? That mercy? I didn’t do anything special to earn it… and neither did those people that have wronged me. It is completely WRONG that I should receive the gift that Christ’s death has given me, but you know what else is wrong? The fact that I accept it for myself but don’t think it should apply to those people.
God is good, merciful, and forgiving. Maybe I think those people shouldn’t be forgiven, but hey, neither should I. And you know what else? This world does not matter. It is not what is important. I am waiting for the better days of life to come in heaven. And one day all the mess and crap of this world will be gone. One day, it will not matter that you hurt me and I think that is a beautiful prospect. I cannot wait for the day that this world passes and it’s just God and His kingdom.
To all the people I’ve held grudges against… to those who apologized and never hear me utter these words… I am sorry and I forgive you. I understand that what you did was wrong and yeah, you hurt me. But God is greater than my pain and my hope is in Him. I hope you have found your freedom in Him as well and that I can one day stand side by side with you and we can praise Him together.
Thinking like this has really helped me understand the cross more… It’s one thing to feel the weight of my sin and guilt, but it is a whole ‘nother thing to think that through the cross that person that wronged me the most can be made my brother/sister in Christ – that we can be reconciled together as forgiven creations of God. Like seriously, holy cow God is good. I would love nothing more to be able to look that person in the eye and not only be able to say “I forgive you” but also be able to rejoice with them in the fact that Christ has forgiven them as well. God is good ALL THE TIME and I’m glad He does not turn people away who ask for His forgiveness like I have.
You know, I once thought “There’s no way I could ever forgive them for what they did to me…” but silly me I forgot that “I can do ALL things through CHRIST who strengthens me.”