What's one of the hardest things to do? Forgive. Here's how...
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as God through Christ forgave you.” -Ephesians 4:32
One of the easiest things for a human to say is, “Hey! what’s up.” It’s a conversation starter, a simple thing you might say to someone walking by. Could you imagine if it was just as easy to say, “I forgive you?”
Forgiveness can be a life changing thing. Our lives can often be lived in anger, sadness, fear, or many other things because we don’t realize that we have unforgiveness in our hearts. For as horrible as the things that were done to you, that shouldn’t limit the freedom you are meant to have.
I once heard someone say, when you decide you don’t want to forgive someone, it’s like you are lighting yourself on fire and hoping the other person dies from smoke inhalation. People can hold grudges their entire life hoping that their offender will say sorry to them, but in many cases, the offender may not even know that they did anything.
What I’m am here to tell you will set you free from all of the pain that you may be experiencing, and it will help to prepare you for the next time you need to forgive someone.
I came across a piece of scripture that changed everything for me. Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as God through Christ forgave you.”
Wow. When I read this verse and meditated on it, everything changed for me. I truly realized that I was a sinner who repeatedly sins against God, yet he forgives me every single time, without question. God actually tells us that he will remember our sins no more (Hebrews 8:12).
Soon later, when my heart was ready, I went into my contacts list from A-Z and messaged every single person who had ever wronged me in my past. I told them that I had forgiven them, that I was praying for them, and that I loved them.
Even further, when I saw those in my contacts whom I knew had ever been discriminated, judged, or considered taking their life, I felt compelled to message them too and tell them that they were loved and that I was praying for them.
With each text that I sent, I could feel my fire being extinguished. I got down to some of the hardest names to message, but by the strength provided by Jesus Christ, I told them that I had forgiven them and loved them too. To some it came as a shock.
When Jesus was being killed and tortured on the cross he said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing (Luke 23:34). Those men did not know how evil their acts were and were strongly deceived, just like many in this world can be. If they had known that they were killing the savior of the world things would have gone much differently.
When I had forgiven all of those people in my heart, it was the beginning of God setting me free through Jesus Christ. There was anger and resent within me that I didn’t even know was there, but by the grace of God, it was exposed and crucified.
Get your fire extinguisher out right now and do what’s necessary to cease your flame. It’s going to take extra strength and heart to use the extinguisher for those who have hurt us the most, but when it’s done, you will be free from the chains that are stopping you from your calling.
I believe in you, and if you call upon the name of Jesus, he will give you the strength to do all things, even forgive the unforgivable.