Naturally being able to forgive others has never been a strong point for me. When someone hurts me, I find it so hard to just forget about it and move on. I sometimes take things personally when I shouldn’t.
I often wondered whether or not other people felt the same way as me. I know so many people that are able to forgive so effortlessly. They love people no matter what- I envied these people tremendously.
After some soul searching, I came to a conclusion.
I know I am not the only one who finds it hard to forgive people because God specifically had to touch on this subject multiple times throughout the Bible.
One example comes from the verse Leviticus 19:18 and says this:
“You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.”
Yes, some people in your life are toxic. They will make you question your sanity and will literally raise your blood pressure. It is HARD to keep them in your life. It is hard pretending like everything is okay when it’s not. And sometimes it’s okay to love these people from a distance (sometimes the farther the better).
However, I also came to another conclusion, one that isn’t so easy to do. One that is easier said than done.
To forgive and forget.
It might sound cliché, trust me, I would know. I hear it all of the time.
But here is the real and heart-wrenching truth.
People constantly spat in Jesus’s face, called him names, and mocked him to his face. Yet, Jesus LOVED these people, prayed for them, and continuously forgave them. Continuously.
He keeps NO record of wrong!
What a hard concept to wrap my head around.
It is so easy to stay mad at people. It is so easy to forget about all of the things I have done wrong and point out everything others have done wrong.
But what I have learned is that holding grudges hurts me more than it hurts them. It gives me more stress wrinkles than it does them. They aren’t the ones losing sleep… I am.
What is hard for me to remember is that no one on this earth is perfect. No one even comes close. Sometimes I expect people to be this super human and that is an extremely unrealistic and unfair expectation.
Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Forgiveness comes naturally for some… for others, not so much. If you are like me, then God might have made this difficult for you for a reason. He wants you to come to HIM. He wants you to ask Him for help. Maybe, just maybe, if you ask Him to help you with this, you will have a better appreciation for the forgiveness He gives us daily.
I know that when I struggle with this, my initial thought is to stay mad at whoever hurt me. The last thing I want to do is ask God to give me a forgiving heart- one that keeps no record of wrong and loves unconditionally. But, I want a heart like Jesus. I want to be able to love and forgive like He can. And I know the only way I can come close to that is solely through Him.
Jesus, please give me a heart like yours!