Day 26: Exodus 11-12; Matthew 18:21-35

Forgiveness

Forgiveness can be a really difficult thing to master. Sometimes, it feels like it’s easier to stay angry or to cast blame on someone else. Recently, God taught me an incredibly valuable lesson in forgiveness: it’s within my control, and my control only.

For a long time, I had the mindset that forgiveness was rooted in the other person. That until the person who hurt me asked for my forgiveness, I had to be angry or hold a grudge. But operating like this makes you bitter, unhappy, and cranky. It ruins your mood, and sometimes, your life.

All the while, the person who hurt you may not even know they offended you. Even if they do know, they could get over it within a few minutes, while you end up carrying the grudge for days, weeks, or even years! The other person then goes on happily with their life while you suffer. How is that fair?

So now, I picture a raincoat. And when someone hurts me, I remind myself to let it go right then and there – not to dwell on it or to let it stew inside until my anger boils over. That’s their burden to bear and they will have to answer for their own actions. Instead, I pray for love towards that person and all of God’s best blessings. And it’s really hard to hate the person you’re praying for.

This parable reminds us that God forgave us like that. I don’t know if you’ve ever been cheated on, but when we turn to sin or idols instead of God, to Him it feels a lot like adultery (check out our e-study on harlotry and the church metaphor). A hurt and betrayal that huge can totally be justified by a life long grudge. But not to our God. If we repent and return to Him, He forgives our sin and casts it as deep as the sea.

Do the same for those who wrong you – regardless of whether they ask for your forgiveness. Because at the end of the day, it’s within your control. You can choose to forgive someone or you can carry a grudge. Trust me, your life will be much happier and lighter if you choose the former.

What helps you forgive others? Share your tips in the comments!

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6 thoughts on “Day 26: Exodus 11-12; Matthew 18:21-35

  1. I tell myself its not worth it to hold onto all that negative emotions. Especially as like you said the other party would have moved on. I feel like holding onto resentment would kill me slowly. Thats my mantra n thats how i am able to forgive the person

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  2. This is a good one. I work on forgiving but sometimes feeling angry or hurt can get the best of me. I like to remind myself that what a person says to me or how the person behaves toward me is his/her issue. How I respond or handle the situation is mine. I choose to be happy so I choose to forgive. Although I’ve prayed for those who have hurt me, I’ve never actually given thought to what is mentioned in this article about praying for someone who hurts us. It is very true that feeling hatred toward the person we are praying for is difficult since it technically is a contradiction.

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  3. I resonate with this passage so much! This weekend both my friend and I have been dealing with being unable to forgive the same person. The fact is, if I had stepped outside of my own emotional bubble I would have been able to see that I could have muzzled the unforgiveness as soon as it started if I had not fanned the flames to my anger. If I could do it over again, I would have solved the issue then and there by voicing my hurt to the wrongdoer and forgiving them that exact moment instead of looking for the “right moment”. And I totally agree with Lesley’s reply! Because we are adopted into God’s inheritance we are also called to a higher order. Although our flesh may want to make things right by holding a grudge, our speech light to be seasoned and carry life! By being confident in our identity with Christ, we are compelled to not let in forgiveness control our lives.

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  4. This is exactly what I need for today. I had a rough day at work, and I know God is telling me to forgive others and not hold anger inside me through this passage! Thank you! I’d say I’m able to forgive because of God’s words!

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  5. Forgiveness of oneself is just as important as forgiving others. A long time ago I did something that I regret to this day and it’s taken years for me to forgive myself for the pain I caused myself and others through a selfish act. When I became reborn, i accepted other’s forgiveness and decided to finally forgive myself too.

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