Forgiving someone who has hurt or wronged us is an incredibly difficult thing to do. That hurt can stay in our hearts for a long time, even a lifetime; eating away at our soul, making us embittered and sad.
In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask that we may be forgiven for our sins but we are also charged to forgive those who sin against us.
How can one find it in their heart to forgive someone who has caused death or injury to others, forgive someone who has cheated and lied?
How can God forgive us when we turn from Him, mocking and rejecting Him, continuing in evils ways, blaming Him for our misfortunes?
Look to the Cross – When Jesus was being crucified we are told in Luke 23:34 Jesus said, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”. Jesus died for our sins that we might be forgiven.
Forgiving someone who has wronged you can turn your life around; take away the hurt and bitterness which may be stopping you from moving forward.
I think of Corrie Ten Boom, the author of ‘The Hiding Place’, and how she met a man at a church service at which she was speaking. He had been a very vicious former SS guard at Ravensbruck Internment Camp. He asked her for forgiveness.
Corrie often spoke of the need to forgive others; she knew she could not forgive this man in her own strength for what he done to her and her family. She writes, “When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.”
God gave Corrie the strength to forgive and love this man when she alone could not. She writes, “Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred.”
Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind to one another, tender-hearted forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.