We’ve all done wrong, and we’ve all been wronged but most of us are better at asking forgiveness for what we’ve done than forgiving those that have wronged us.
Many of us believe that we don’t have to consider forgiveness until someone who’s done us wrong comes to us and ask for it, but “forgiveness” should start with us, and it’s necessary for us to move past anger and bitterness in our life, and believe it or not, some of us don’t know how to forgive. And some of us find it very difficult to forgive.
So, here are some things we need to remember about forgiveness:
First, forgiveness is a choice. It’s not an emotion, but an act of our will. You don’t have to do it, but when you don’t, there are consequences. Not forgiving keeps you holding on to anger or resentment toward someone and therefore makes you a “victim” to that situation.
The next thing is that one of the greatest misconceptions about forgiveness is the belief that forgiving the offender means you condone the offense! When we forgive, we let the person off the hook, but we don’t condone their wrongful act. And in fact, forgiving someone doesn’t mean that you have to reconcile with them. Forgiveness is a very personal matter. It’s about finding peace over a person and their actions. It’s about making a choice and letting it go. I love this saying: “You know you have forgiven someone when he or she has harmless passage through your mind.”
And finally, we have to remember that forgiveness is a miracle. We know this because our hope, our salvation, and our future is based on what Christ did to forgive us our sin. So, when we forgive, we demonstrate a characteristic of Christ.
You see, forgiveness isn’t just writing off a “wrong” as if it was no big deal or it just doesn’t matter. Forgiveness says, “Yes, it was wrong. It mattered, and it hurt, but I release it in Jesus’ name.” And when we acknowledge our wound, and stop ignoring it, then, we can make a conscious choice to “let it go.” That’s when the miracle of forgiveness is enacted and healing begins.