Choosing to forgive is one of the hardest decisions that we are faced with throughout the course of our lives. I have often pondered the reason behind its complexity and even its importance. During one of the darkest times in my life, when forgiving seemed virtually impossible, God gave me a revelation that I hope will be as much of a blessing to you as it has been to me.
For years I was plagued with anger, hurt, bitterness, fear, and pride. After being hurt beyond comprehension by someone I didn’t even know and by people who I thought that I could trust, I was faced with the uncomfortable and extremely difficult decision to forgive. It felt as though I had to take the knife out of my back and extend a hug to the very ones who placed it there.
It took me years to get to the point where I was able to literally let go and let God. At first I didn’t understand how I could or even why I should forgive what most people would consider to be the “unforgivable”, but once I allowed Divinity to intervene, the answers to those haunting questions began to unfold in my spirit and in my heart.
Forgiveness is not only for the offender.
It is also for the wounded, and in absence of forgiveness healing is undoubtedly impossible. We become so concerned with the idea of relinquishing control, when in fact our biggest concern should be WHO we are relinquishing control to.
If it is not our creator… if it is not the one who loves and knows us best, then our concerns become well substantiated. Alternatively, if we relinquish control over to a reliable source… the only source… forgiveness then becomes a healing balm rather than a heavy burden. It becomes the very thing that we use to protect our hearts. As wonderful and hopeful as this sounds, it still does not stop us from viewing forgiveness as an extremely difficult task to carry out.
While pondering my qualms with forgiveness a light bulb went off in my head. I had always prayed for God to heal my heart, but I had never asked for Him to help me forgive. Wow! How is it that it never occurred to me to simply ask God for help? I am always so quick to ask God for forgiveness, but never once did I think to ask the Master of forgiveness to help me to forgive. Why? The answer is that I never made a conscious decision to relinquish control. I allowed my anger, pain, and fear to guide me. I put so much focus on the offender and the offense, it didn’t occur to me that I should focus my prayers on forgiveness.
I had absolutely no desire to forgive.
I wanted healing, but was not willing to take the necessary steps to get there if it involved forgiving. I even tried to ignore the problem as if it would magically disappear, not realizing that ignoring the problem was like using a topical ointment for pain. It numbed the pain for a little while, provided short term relief, but did nothing for me internally.
Imagine if your car were to become damaged in an accident. There are a few mechanical and cosmetic issues as a result, but the car still runs. You choose to ignore the mechanical issues because you are still able to get around. You go to the auto store and buy a can of car paint. You attempt to cover up the dents.
The dents and the mechanical issues still exist, but you have convinced yourself that they are not noticeable enough to be concerned about. You made the decision to cover up and ignore the damage because you felt as though the cost was too great to have it fixed. You assume that no one will really notice anyway, so what does it really matter?
Yes, you chose to try and cover up the damage, but by no means does that stop others from being able to see it. They do not see the beautiful car that it once was. They can only see the damage that you made a failed attempt to cover up. They cannot appreciate the car’s beauty because the owner did not feel as though their only transportation was worth having repaired. Eventually the mechanical issues that you chose to ignore become worse and getting around isn’t quite so easy any longer. You now have no choice but to take it to a professional; otherwise your car will end up dying.
If we continue the cycle of putting our trust in man/woman/things rather than God, our wounds then become self-inflicted. This makes forgiveness that much more difficult because it’s almost as if we put the knife in our assailant’s hand without even realizing it. In other words, we gave them something that they never should have had to begin with. Trust in the hands of anyone other than God is fatal. Trust in the hands of God is life.
Although choosing to forgive is one of the hardest decisions that we will inevitably have to face in life, it is important to know that we do not have to face it alone. We may endure pain, but if we view the pain as a warning signal, we can take it to the Professional before it’s too late. We can rely on Him to fix our damage. We can rely on Him to fix our hearts and in return fix our lives. We no longer have to feel as though the cost is too great. The bill is on Him. He has already paid the price.Forgiveness is not only for the offender. It is also for the wounded. Click To Tweet