This is a chapter that not only we women need, but I think men need as well. Forgiveness sometimes can be hard to completely comprehend. If you forgive someone, do they need to apologize first? Do they need to accept that they were wrong? If they don’t, do we still need to forgive? What about forgetting? Does forgiving someone mean that we have to forget what happened to us?
I tell my children never to use the word “hate”. It is a very strong word, and I just don’t like to hear it used. God does not want us to hate, but to love. It was interesting to read though, that even though I don’t like the use of the word “hate”, that if I don’t forgive them, it is the root of hate.
I learned all about this before I was 19 from two family members. I grew up in a family filled with love. We would do anything for each other. Give the shirt off our back. But I had two relatives that did not “fit“ the family mold. I had one relative that I was afraid that if I was ever in a situation where he and I were alone, that I might get sexually abused. I tried to avoid him at all cost. The other family member was so self centered in his own immediate family that he really strained my relationship with his wife for a whole year. Instead of coming to me with issues he had with me when I lived with them for a year, he went through his wife, which ended up straining our relationship that year. I held on to those feelings of unforgiveness even after I became a Christian, and it wasn’t until I was convicted by God, that even though they never apologized and probably never will, it wasn’t up to me. I needed to forgive them. And I did.
You see I didn’t need to wait for them to apologize. It didn’t justify what they had done. I gave it over to God to let him handle and He will handle it. To this day, I feel SO much better knowing that I don’t have to deal with it anymore. I have a God who deals justly with all people.
If you have read any of my early blog entries, you will see that I went through a period of sexual refusal toward my husband. When my eyes were finally opened, when I was truly ready to hear the truth, God revealed to me that while my husband had forgiven me for my past, and God forgave me when I confessed my sin, that I hadn’t forgiven myself, and that gave Satan a foothold into my marriage bed. Since I finally forgave myself, I have been able to heal, and my past is just there… in the past.
I have found lately that Jesus verse about forgiveness 70×7 times is on my mind a lot. (Matthew 18-21-22) I realized something… there is no way I could keep count of forgiving someone 490 times. I would so lose count and have to start over again. I think that is God’s point on forgiveness.
For anyone who has a hard time with forgiveness, remember this. You, yourself, have had a LARGE debt forgiven if you are a Christian. Jesus died for ALL of your sins, not just the ones he chooses to forgive you for. We have no right to be unforgiving for any reason.
Please feel free to post anything that really stood out to you. I think the biggest thing I need to remember where forgiveness is concerned, is to remember Jesus sacrifice to forgive me when I find myself feeling unforgiving toward someone else.