“To err is human; to forgive, divine.” -Alexander Pope
“Do yourself a favor and forgive anyone that has anything against you. Do it as an act of faith and trust God to change and heal your emotions. Pray for your enemies and never say another unkind thing about them. It is the only way you can move past the pain and begin to heal.” -Joyce Meyer
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” -C.S. Lewis
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” -Nelson Mandela
According to Merriam-Webster, to forgive means “to cease to feel resentment against an offender.” Merriam-Webster only uses eight words to define the word forgive. The definition makes it sound so simple, so cut and dry. It isn’t simple. It isn’t cut and dry. In fact, to be honest, I’m finding this post really hard to write. I’ve been putting it off all day. I knew when I started this blog back up that I would want to write a post or two on forgiveness because of the personal things that I have going on in my life. Forgiveness has been such a big part of my life in the last three or four months, but I am still struggling to write this.
I am not going to go into detail about the situation or the person that I have had to forgive lately because it is not my story to share. It has affected me greatly, broken my heart, and shattered my foundation, but it is still not my place to share their truth. Over the last few months, my battle with forgiveness has taken place on my knees. I prayed and prayed and prayed some more. This person and I had a very close relationship and we needed to be able to function on a day-to-day basis. If I had cut this person out of my life, it would have hurt my children. This situation really tested my ability to “adult.” I had to put my initial reactions aside and think about my children and the future. I was hurt. I was extremely angry. I felt betrayed. I’m still hurt and angry, but little by little God is handling that for me. In my own personal belief, God sent his son to die on a cross for my sins. He forgave me before I even needed to be forgiven. Ephesians 4:32 says, “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” God says to forgive. I knew that I couldn’t do this on my own so I battled it out on my knees, hands in the air, and literally saying “here.” It was exactly like what Beth Moore says, “I don’t know how, but I know Who.” I knew that God was the only way I was going to get past this. At first, it was a day-to-day process. I had to literally forgive this person every single day, but it has gotten easier. I wanted to show a Christ love to this person. I also wanted to handle this situation in a way that if my kids ever reacted like I did that I would be proud of them.
If you are not a Christian or a religious person, you might look at forgiveness in a different light than I do. I will say this. I think forgiveness is necessary for everyone, whether you believe in Christ or not. Life is too short to live with such bitterness and anger in your heart. Even if you choose to not have a relationship with the person that wronged you, you should still forgive them for yourself. You don’t want to carry that anger around with you and you don’t want that baggage in your new relationships. Think about it this way, if this person died tomorrow would you have any regrets? Forgiveness is just as much for you as it is the person that hurt you, and in some ways, I think it might be more important. Be the bigger person. Let it go. It does not mean you condone the sin or that you are alright with what the person did, but it means that you have forgiven them. I know it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. If you messed up, would you want to be forgiven?