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Forgiveness leads to freedom

Reflections
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Can you think of someone that wronged you in some way? Just the thought of them can bring tears to your eyes or make you ball your fists in anger. Regardless of what they did to you they’re a permanent fixture in your mind. Even when you try to forget them they reappear in your mind again. But why is that?

No one wants to hear forgive those who wrong you, especially after the fact. How do you forgive the person who robbed, raped, or abused you? But forgiveness is the heart’s way to erase that pain. Holding on to the anger or hurt that person caused you will only bring down a cycle of anger, depression, even revenge. It’s when we’re able to forgive that person that we can finally release those emotions that hold us in a cage.

So how do you forgive those who wronged you? For one you have to look at the issue of forgiveness. Forgiveness isn’t justifying that person’s actions. It’s looking at those who wronged you in a different way, the same way God looks at us.

God doesn’t view us as perfect; he views us as a work in progress. Some days will be better than others. But when we stumble and we come to him for forgiveness He grants it, because He loves us and knows we’re not perfect. It doesn’t justify what we did in his eyes, what’s done is done. It’s that acceptance of the wrong and the grace that comes from that, that frees us.

The same can be said about our relationships with each other. We’re not perfect, not even close. And that doesn’t justify someone raping, stealing, or lying to us. Unfortunately thought it happens and when we view that person who wronged us we need to look at them the way God looks at us.

While forgiveness seems extremely hard consider the alternative. Consider what harboring those emotions of bitterness and hate can do. How they can manifest into actions and attitudes that we didn’t know we possessed. When we chose to not to forgive, we chose to live that hurt over and over again. These emotions hold us down and allow that person who wronged us more power over our life. It’s only when we forgive that person are we able to release the emotions that come with it.

Forgiveness isn’t easy. It isn’t an impulse decision. Depending on the severity of what happened, it can be a lifetime process. The important thing is to be able to see both sides of the issue. While it’s perfectly justified to feel hurt and angry at those who hurt us, just remember how God treats us. God views us as imperfect vessels capable of carrying His word to the world. If God, who gave his Son’s life for us, can forgive us, shouldn’t we be able to do the same for others?
 

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