I used to have the biggest problem with forgiveness. It was so difficult for me to let go of hurts and let go of those people who have hurt me. It’s because I was so broken and I looked to humans to love me perfectly. They won’t. No matter how hard I tried to let go, those pains would always come back to me and it would leave b i t t e r n e s s in my stomach.
It was because I was looking to others to fulfill in me what only God can. The hungry thirst for His perfect love, His perfect wholeness, His perfect f o r g i v e n e s s.
It wasn’t until the Forgiver Himself forgave me. He forgave me of literally every wrong I’ve done, every bad thing, big and small. All the darkness within. He forgave it all, at a time when I couldn’t even forgive m y s e l f.
Once I tasted His spiritual cleansing and refreshing forgiveness, it freed me. It freed me not only to forgive myself, but to forgive others. He took my weakness and made His power alive in me, giving me the ability to forgive and let go the tight grip I had on hurts and on people.
Some forgiving I had to do happened momentarily at my conversion, when I was filled with His love, and some other forgiveness in my heart occurred through situations and circumstances that have come up in my life that God used to teach me and cling to His love first. I had to “let” Him heal hurts, letting His tenderness and sweetness hold my heart secure. With His work in my heart, He helped me overcome unforgiveness. It was only by His power in my life and His gentleness in my heart. With each new season and each new challenge, He taught me, He grew me, He refined me.
He loved me in ways that are so sacred and holy and divine.
My heart couldn’t resist, and I didn’t have room any longer for g a r b a g e in my soul because He removed it all and flooded me with His light. With His sweet love. And He will continue to do it until I’m ready to see His glorious face.
With His wholeness in me, I no longer look to others to fulfill in my life what they could never possibly fulfill. They aren’t perfect, and will not love me perfectly, and that’s okay. I’m not perfect, but the one who I S perfect forgave all of my imperfections. He has taught me to run to Him with any hurt I face in life.
I was forgiven of a l l my sins against a perfect, holy God, and it has freed me to forgive other people’s sins against an i m p e r f e c t me.
If Jesus Christ was abandoned and denied by His closest followers, yet He still forgave them, I can certainly forgive people in my life who have hurt me to such a lesser degree. All of my sins against my righteous just Creator are incomparably more than a few sins against me by others. And He forgave my despicable sins against Him. E v e r y single one of them. So it frees my own soul to forgive.
He frees us to forgive, and with forgiveness, He frees us to truly love others. It’s only by J E S U S. When we experience the true love and forgiveness of God Himself, we’re able to forgive others and release them from our own chains of unforgiveness.
With God comes healing. Of our hearts and our relationships.
If you’re having trouble forgiving and feel any hurt in your heart towards another person, ask God to make you aware of His perfect love for you and His full acceptance of you. You might be in so much hurt and pain. But God’s love is so much g r e a t e r. Run to God and God alone. Jesus’ love breaks the chains of unforgiveness in our hearts. Sometimes immediately, sometimes through persistent prayer and abiding in Him over time.
But HE WILL, because HE IS.
Jesus heals broken hearts.
“Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven! “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt. “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt. “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full. “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt. “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.”
“So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.”