Source: The Morning Offering
February 25, 2016
The decision to forgive another person a wrong done to us begins when we decide to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. To forgive someone does not mean that we forget what they did to us, for this may be impossible. The memory of the hurt might always remain with us, but when we decide to forgive the person who wronged us, the grip of resentment is put aside. When we forgive someone it is even possible to find ourselves filled with compassion and empathy for the person, for the act of forgiveness opens the heart to God’s grace.
When we forgive someone, we are not denying their responsibility for hurting or offending us, nor are we justifying their act. We can forgive them without approving or excusing their transgression against us, for the act of forgiving another opens our heart to the peace that brings closure to hurt and pain, and opens us up to the love and peace that comes from living a life without resentment.
If we find ourselves struggling to forgive, it is good to recall those hurtful things we’ve done to others, and remember when we’ve been forgiven. It is especially good to recall how God has forgiven us, and call upon Him to give us the grace needed to put aside our resentment, and truly forgive the other person. Being quick to forgive, and putting aside all thoughts of revenge will open our heart to a joyful and peaceful life.
Finally, if we pray for those who’ve offended us, we open the door to all kinds of possibilities. When we ask God to help the person whose been unkind and hurtful, our own hearts receive healing, for when we’ve forgiven others, grace abounds.
“Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do, and he will bless you for it.” (1 Peter 3:9)
Love in Christ,