Updated: Feb 2, 2021
Forgiveness is a very important aspect of living a life that is pleasing to God. We are human beings who have short-comings in our DNA. We all have been hurt but it is very clear that if we don't or won't forgive then we will not receive God's forgiveness. Mark 11:25-26 makes it crystal clear.
Realizing that sometimes it is really difficult to forgive the actions of others but it is imperative to do so. Also, we have to remember that all we can do is forgive the actions as God is the only one who can give the forgiveness of sins, we don't have the power and it is way about our pay grade.
It has been said many times that holding a grudge against someone else is like drinking poison and expect the other person to die. When someone hurts you it is advisable to think about it before deciding that your feelings are bang on. Does this person always act this way? Is this out of character for them? Was it done directly to you or have you heard it from someone else?
Sometimes people do the wrong thing for the right reason. Sometimes people are dealing with things that no one else knows about. Sometimes people put their own spin on the story which can change the whole dynamic of the conversation. Sometimes people lie, whether they realize they are doing it or not. However, if someone continually hurts you, no one says that they have to be part of your life. We have to love them as a child of God but we don't have them as part of your inner circle. I know, how can you love someone and not like them? I equate this with raising teenagers. They are your children, as we are God's children, and we don't always like their actions and behaviors but we still love them.
As I think back on the years of raising children and remember some of the foolishness, hurt, and rage that encompassed the experience, I realize if any other person had put me through the crap they did, I would have had nothing to do with them ever again but these are my children and I adore them and want them as part of my life. It is my opinion that this is how God views us. We haven't always acted appropriately or taken his feelings into consideration but he still adores us and wants us to be part of his family. That is a lot of love and compassion and I am so thankful that he continues to forgive me and for that reason, I try with all my might and with God's help to let things go.
Like anything else, if you want to change your behavior and learn to forgive you have to change your thinking. If your thought patterns stay the same then there is little hope of the action changing. If you have always been easily offended, can carry a grudge to the grave, and really are not forgiving of others' shortcomings, take a real good look at what your thought patterns are and so some adjusting. Best weight loss plan in the world. Your physical scales may not show the outcome but your spiritual scales will become very light.
So we have forgiven them, Great! But did we stop there because if we did we still aren't done. We missed a step. We have to bless them (Romans 12:14). I think we are all guilty of saying that we have forgiven someone but continually bring it up and go over and over what they did to us and having nothing nice to say about them. Not how it works. I do pray for them that God blesses them spiritually. No better way to be able to truly forgive someone than to have God show them their attitude and behaviors have to change so they can repent and be free from their sins.
Someone, or those who prayed those prayers over me for all those years, blessed me in many ways. My sins and negative ways are all being brought into the light of God and at a pace, I can handle and not be overwhelmed.
This is a work in me that will never be completed until I become perfection in Heaven. Until then, I will continue to strive to do better every day, to love, forgive and bless my enemies and be a better person.
There will be more to come because God certainly isn't done with me yet.