Forgiven to Forgive
Will you choose to forgive those who have hurt you?
It’s a question I am sure all of us had to ask ourselves at some point in our life. We’ve all been hurt in one way or another, in ways that seem big or small. Whatever it may be, we are all carrying hidden pain inside our hearts. Unfortunately, that’s reality. We live in a world where people are not perfect. We live in a world where people hurt people. But, what if there was freedom beyond our hurt? What if there was a way to truly forgive those people that have done us wrong?
In my young life, I had to make multiple decisions to forgive people in order to keep moving forward with my life. In reality, I would not be where I am today if I didn’t truly forgive in my heart. I am thankful I chose the path of forgiveness and healing, but I can’t take all the credit of that choice. Honestly, I would have never chose to forgive without the work of the Holy Spirit alive inside of me. It is only through His power, and the power of having a relationship with Jesus Christ, that gave me the ability to forgive and move on with my life.
Forgiveness is a powerful thing. When you choose to forgive someone, it loosens the chains off of your own life. Unforgiveness is a recipe for disaster- it brews hatred, resentment, bitterness, and any other negative quality that falls in the same ruthless category. It’s natural for us to hate those who have hurt us. But do you know what the freeing truth is that I have found?
“ And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
When I gave my life to Jesus Christ, my broken, empty life, I found forgiveness. That is what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross for our sins- He forgave. That’s something that is hard for me to wrap my mind around. When I realized the weight of my sin, and when it hit me that MY sin nailed Jesus to the cross, I became overwhelmed by that forgiveness. These thoughts rolled (and continue to roll) through my mind:
“How could such a loving, perfect God forgive ME?”
“I don’t deserve this forgiveness and love.”
“Lord, you had (and have) every right to not forgive me.”
But the amazing, beautiful thing is that Jesus forgave us anyways. Even though our sin sent Him to be crucified, He still forgives, and continues to forgive no matter how many times we mess things up.
So, with that being said, I go back to Mark 11:25- Forgive, because your Father in heaven forgave you.
Once you encounter the forgiveness of Jesus Christ, you are set free. IF you choose to follow Him, you are set free from your past, from your sin, the weight of guilt and shame. That forgiveness and love you encounter is SO powerful, it will drive you to forgive those who have hurt you. It gives you the power and strength to let go of the offenses you are holding onto against people.
Is it easy to forgive? NO, not at all. It wasn’t easy for Jesus to be murdered on our behalf so we could be forgiven. But, is it worth it? Yes, yes it is. As I think back on my life in those moments when I needed to forgive and allow God to heal my heart, all I could remember is tears. A lot of tears. Forgiving someone can be a painful thing at first. But those wounds become scars once you choose to let go all the resentment you’re carrying. Forgiveness equals freedom. When you choose to forgive, you will be set free.
Everyone wants to live in freedom. Everyone wants to live “life to the fullest.” Well, that full life we desire is a life apart from sin. Sin is just a word for the bad choices that bring bad consequences. Imagine a life without bad consequences. That would be an incredible life, wouldn’t it? Good news is that life IS attainable, and it’s a life that would make Jesus Christ proud. It’s living a life that reflects His own. Jesus forgave us, so we need to forgive others. If you have found the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, it’s your turn to ask God who YOU need to forgive in your life. Ask Him to show you, I promise you He will. Forgive and move on. Forgive and forget. Live the life God intended you to live and stop living in the past. So, will you choose to forgive those who have hurt you?
"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."