Forgiveness. Forgiven. Forgive.
These words, ideas, concepts are altogether mentioned in the Bible around 140 times.
the bible tells us that we should forgive people when they hurt us, sin against us. We should forgive them as God has forgiven us for our own sins.
Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Sounds easy enough, right?
but what if that person has hurt us? what if that person has abused us? what if that person left us beaten and bruised physically and mentally?
How do we forgive people who have hurt us so badly?
believe me. that’s something that i know i struggle with trying to do.
i struggle with forgiving ex-boyfriends who have abused me; physically, verbally, mentally, etc. i struggle with forgiving ex-boyfriends who have cheated and made me feel disposable. i struggle with forgiving friends who leave. i struggle with forgiving people who have hurt me and taken advantage of me over and over. i won’t sugar coat it. i struggle with this.
Recently though I’ve learned that in order to better learn how to forgive others we need to understand that we’ve all already been forgiven. We are all sinners. that sin separates us from God. whether its a sin of cheating, porn, lying, alcohol, drugs, etc.
In Matthew 18:21-22 Peter asks God how many times he should forgive someone. His answer? “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
You see. we sin daily. whether you realize it or not. getting drunk, sex outside of marriage, watching that porn, holding grudges, lying, gossiping. each day we sin against the God of the universe. each day we sin against the god who created each and every one of us. yet, god still loves us and desires a relationship with us. think about it this way: for as much hurt as we may feel from a person we are not able to forgive, when we deny god, when we sin against him we hurt him and we separate ourselves from him. yet, he holds nothing over us. he still longs for a relationship with all of us.
i’m not advocating for messaging that person who has hurt you unless the Lord calls you to. what i am saying is that to better understand how to forgive someone, we should start with a understanding of God’s love for us and how he forgives us. when we start with this understanding we can then approach forgiving someone with a understanding of, “Yes, this person hurt me. I don’t trust them. But, they are as forgiven as I am for my sins. Because of this I won’t speak bad of them to others”.
You see, when we start forgiving people we stop allowing those people to have control over us. we start to extend more grace and ease to people.