I don’t struggle with forgiving. I struggle with forgetting. I once came across a quote that read “Most of us can forgive and forget; we just don’t want the other person to forget that we forgave.” This means we can forgive and try to forget but more often than not we can’t forget because we want to remind the other party we forgave them. I struggle with this.
To really love someone you have to be able to forgive. I am not just talking about a spouse or significant other. This includes family, friends, children, neighbors, etc. When a deep injury is done to us, we can never recover until we forgive. Grudges won’t change the past. But they will, however, hinder the future. When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free. There is no better feeling than the peace you hold when a burden has been lifted from your shoulders after forgiving someone. You will know when it happens. You can feel it. You can literally feel a weight rise from your shoulders and a calm peace and happiness fill your body. I have had it happen. I have held on to nonsense for years before. I remember thinking I had forgiven the wrongs that had been done to me. But when I actually forgave them the burden was gone and I had peace. I never thought about it again. I looked at that person and was able to wish them well and truly mean it. That is forgiving. I have recently done a Bible study that taught me if I can look at a person I am angry with through Jesus’ eyes it is much easier to forgive them. I will see them in a whole new way. They will be the same, the relationship will be the same, but I will be different. I can’t change them, but I can change me.
Forgiveness is a huge subject and certainly one in which the Bible is not silent. In the Bible we can read about our amazing and loving Heavenly Father who forgives us of all trespasses. There are a few chains I need to work on breaking. If God can forgive me for all the things I have done in my lifetime and Jesus was willing to give his life for those same things, I believe I can forgive the simple things I hold grudges about.
Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.