Forgiveness is quite possibly one of the hardest things that God asks us to do. Yet it is something He does for us every day.
Forgiveness is sometimes a very painful process when the wrong done against us is reprehensible. There are other times when, perhaps, forgiveness is simply releasing a person from the expectation that they give something that they aren’t able to give. It might involve letting go of the idea that they chose to disappoint or wound you.
Think about your own failures. How often did you choose to fall short of the goal or the ideal?
I’m finding that forgiveness can be difficult within the Christian community. Why? Because we think they ought to know better. Do better. Try harder. They ought to see things the way we do.
I am caught right now in the middle of some deep rooted bitterness and a call to choose forgiveness. I know the commands, and yet they don’t empower me to forgive. Only the power of God in me, through the Holy Spirit, can enable me to let go and forgive. Look at how God forgives:
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. Ephesians 1:7-8a
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Church, you’ve hurt me and disappointed me. But I want to be lavish and faithful with forgiveness like my Father is.
I forgive you for operating out of your own weakness. For not being strong in the area I needed you to be strong in. I release you from the ideal that I carried in my mind. And I ask for your forgiveness for harboring bitterness over your failures.
Lord, teach me to see in Your children what delights You. The one I’ve scrutinized– he’s Your son. The one I’ve gossiped about– she’s Your daughter. You love them infinitely. Holy Spirit, well up inside of me with that love.
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photo credit: nutmegstategames.org