“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of
the temperature of the heart” – Corrie Ten Boom. In some point of your life
you will be offended, hurt, subject to someone’s poor decision. It is
inevitable. At that point you will have the opportunity to forgive or hold
on to unforgiveness. Forgiveness is a difficult thing. We know what the
Bible says, we want to be obedient to it, but what do we do with our
emotions? First let’s define forgiveness. To forgive means to pardon
someone for a mistake, misunderstanding or wrongdoing. I love the way C.S.
Lewis puts it, “it is forgiving the inexcusable because God has forgiven
the inexcusable in us.” The greatest example of forgiveness is when Jesus
was hanging on a cross and people were walking by mocking him. What did he
say? “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). At
that moment Jesus could have said a number of things. But out of the
abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). In that moment his
words showed what he had been storing in his heart. Forgiveness doesn’t
have anything to do with the other person/people, it has everything to do
with what is in you. Jesus simply handed his feelings/emotions over to God
and trusted God to heal him. He was then able to love them. When we are
hurt or offended we need to take it to the Lord right away. If we don’t, we
prevent him from bringing the healing, freedom, and breakthrough that we
need and our hearts begin to fill up with bitterness, anger, fear,
mistrust, etc. We become a prisoner to our emotions and get stuck in life.
God wants you to be free and move on. Forgiveness doesn’t excuse the other
person for what he or she did, nor does it doesn’t make what they did ok.
It means you are making peace with God in your heart and allowing him to do
what you or I in our own strength can’t. Forgiveness does not always lead
to a healed relationship. That is why it is so important to be careful with
the words that we speak, how we treat one another, and who we allow in our
lives. You may have to let someone go and that’s ok. Just make sure you let
everything go. Some of you may still be dealing with relationships that
ended years ago, but you are still allowing that individual/people to
impact or affect your life. Take the example of Jesus and give it to God.
Don’t let what has happened in your past to impact your future. It is by
his stripes that we are healed (Isaiah 53:4-5), that includes our emotions.
Take time to forgive today and if you need some encouragement, here are
some Scriptures to help: Ephesians 4:32, Psalm 55:22, 2 Corinthians 12:9, 1
Peter 5:7, Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 147:3, Psalm 34:18, Isaiah 41:10.