The Lord’s Prayer cont’d
And forgive us our wrongs as we forgive those who have wronged us.
Forgiving others can be one the most challenging things on earth to do, particularly when they it involves someone close to us who has wounded us emotionally.
In her book “Do Yourself a Favor… Forgive” televangelist and bestselling author Joyce Meyer discusses how hurt is one thing in life that’s essentially guaranteed and that forgiveness is not a guarantee… it’s a choice we can make to set ourselves free from the pain that keeps us trapped in a state of fear, resentment or anger.
Many persons have suffered horrible things: abuse, rape, betrayal, abandonment, the tragic loss of loved ones at the hands of recklessness.
I once heard someone say it was her “right” to not forgive someone and that Christians were insensitive to be going around trying to convince people to give up the one thing you held in your heart to repeatedly condemn your offender.
I once heard someone say it was her “right” to not forgive someone…
I even told God one dark and depressing day (I was very adamant about it as well) “Why should I forgive (that person) when they’re just going to hurt me again?”.
Have you ever asked yourself that same question, in order to justify holding on to the offense someone committed against you? The reality is, carrying around the weight of unforgiveness does more damage to you, the recipient of that offense, than to the offender. Most times, the offender is not even aware of the damage he or she caused you, and may not even recall committing the offense! All the while, we walk around steaming in our own juices of resentment.
The reality is,… unforgiveness does more damage to you… than to the offender.
But the biggest reason to me why unforgiveness is nothing to mess with, is because it’s a sin, and like all sins, born out of selfish desires.
Refusing to forgive someone is to place yourself as a merciless judge over their lives and actions. But Jesus compels us in Matthew 5: 44- 45 “… to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous”.
As God has been merciful, He has made his strength available to us to be merciful to others. But to accept God’s mercy, while refusing mercy to others is to treat with disdain the mercy we first received from Him.
See also the parable of The Unforgiving Servant.