Forgiveness. Such a simple word. Three syllables. An action. A verb that can live in the past, present, and future tense but it’s not an action that is only done once.
It’s a decision that is made on a daily basis. It’s a journey throughout our lives that will rehash itself over and over and over again because forgiveness isn’t just a one time thing. It isn’t just a simple I’m sorry and I’ll forgive you it’s truly a process. It’s a healing process.
I was listening to this speaker and she was explaining what her perspective of forgiveness was and she said, “Hatred is a knife that you hold by the blade…” …and then I followed with the statement forgiveness if the undeserved action that brings unreserved peace and healing to the wound that we thought would never heal.
Wounds are funny things. Our bodies are so incredible with how they heal themselves but what would it look like if we didn’t let the wound heal? What if we kept scraping at it? Itching away the scab “to allow it to breathe” meaning that we keep bringing up how we got hurt to air it out and hopefully someone will give us the life changing advice to finally help us get rid of the hurt but instead we are met with salt or dirt. The wound doesn’t heal at all but instead over time it becomes infected. The irritation spreads throughout the area and we embrace the pain because we are tough enough to deal with it. We’ve seen it like this before and it’ll go away on its own but what if it doesn’t? What if it makes its way into our blood system and eventually spreads to our heart. With every beat the infection progresses and now our heart isn’t who we are anymore but now our heart reflects our wounds. Why? Because we have held on to an offense or a hurt so long that now when we look in the mirror we no longer see the person we are we see the damage that has been left behind and that can go one of two ways. We become so hurt that we let it destroy us or we become so bitter that we begin to hurt others.
So why should we forgive? Why put in all the effort to let go of the pain and let go of the hurt when they don’t deserve it? They betrayed us. The broke our heart. They tore us apart bit by bit and they have shown no remorse. I was deceived. They don’t deserve our forgiveness because they have shown me nothing to prove to me that they are worth it.
But what if Jesus only carried the cross halfway? What if Jesus was about to Golgotha and he drops the cross and yells from the depth of his soul, “I’ve had enough. If you people didn’t change by now, you’ll never change! I’ve done nothing but good. You’ve broke my heart and you broke my trust time and time again and even if you say I’m sorry, how do I know you won’t still do it? I’m done with you. I’ve had enough!”
I bet you twenty to one every one of us have felt like that, talked like that, and have even treat each others just like that. We carry the hurts, we carry the offenses, we don’t forget, we keep record, and we don’t change. We stay stuck in our ways and believe that it’s everyone else’s fault or responsibility to fix it…but what if that apology never comes?
What if Jesus actually did drop the cross and walked away? He had the power. He had the capability. Jesus was fully God when He was fully man and at any moment he could’ve called armies of angels down to save him but no…He said no. He saw that despite our faults, despite our mistakes, and despite how many times we fall into the same whole over and over and over again…we were worth it.
There was no explanation, no reason, it was undeserved, and He didn’t have to. Yet he did it anyway because in the end he loved us still knowing full well we would hurt him again. We would fall short time and time again. We would betray him. We would turn our backs and curse him. We do it everyday of our existence but He chose us still. He loves us still because in his mind…in his heart he knew the purpose of the bridge he was building with the blood he was shedding and he found us worth it. We were worth the sacrifice and we were worth letting it all go. He doesn’t hold it against us and he doesn’t keep a record. He lets it go and meets us not only with forgiveness…but also with peace. Unreserved peace.
We don’t have to forgive. We don’t. We can base level accept what happened and move on hoping that what’s past is past and it won’t bring up its rearing head in our future…but you and I both know deep down that despite our best efforts it will. Someone wise once told me that people are as sick as their secrets and they are 100% right…but I also believe that people are as sick as their unforgiveness.
The moment we become a Christian is the moment that we surrender our rights to unforgiveness. If Jesus paid it all for us and all of our crap that we pull then who are we to be the judge to someone else? Who are we to withhold grace?
I didn’t deserve the grace and forgiveness that Jesus showed me and if I’m truly going to live my life in surrender to the Lord then I also need to surrender my unforgiveness even if it means pardoning the unimaginable.
Because here’s the deal. I don’t want to be the person that stands in between someone and their chance at eternity or God’s forgiveness. I simply want to be the person that shines a light and helps draw them closer. Hurt or no hurt. Offense or no offense.
If God forgave me…then I will forgive others.