Come Again? You Want Me to Forgive You?
It seems that forgiveness is a radical notion. Our environment is littered with revenge, grudges, lost relationships and pain. We all know what it’s like to be hurt by someone and sometimes when we are hurt, we want to make them feel as bad as we feel. So we hold it against them and don’t forgive. The reality is, however, we really lose when we don’t forgive, especially for anyone who calls himself or herself a follower of Christ. It is necessary for both parties to make it a point to forgive quickly and gracefully as possible for any relationship to flourish.
The reality is, however, we really lose when we don’t forgive.
What is forgiveness?
Forgiveness seems like such a fluffy-feel-good term. It sounds nice but once we’re in a time when we need to forgive, to make a relationship move forward, it becomes a struggle. The first struggle is trying to identify what forgiveness actually looks like. Sometimes, even after we’ve forgiven someone, the hurt will linger and it can continue to affect us. Saying I forgive you is not a magic solution to heal the hurt in relationships. Saying I forgive you is a choice that demonstrates we will no longer hold their wrong against them. This does not mean we do not continue to feel the pain of the hurt for some time. It takes time, to unravel all of the pain and straighten it out. This process is a difficult process but for any relationship to thrive, forgiveness is a necessity.
As painful as forgiving someone can be there are many beautiful things that come out of forgiving someone. Forgiving someone serves as a reminder to what Jesus has done for us. As we process how to forgive others, we relive the beautiful truth of our redemption. It’s a time to be appreciative of what he has done and be thankful for how far he has brought us.
Forgiveness seems like such a fluffy-feel-good term.
In any relationship holding a grudge against someone will poison the connection. Every relationship has potential to thrive and produce great things. When forgiveness is being withheld, the relationship’s potential is being stunted. Forgiving the other person is the only way to continue on in the relationship and thrive, simultaneously. Not only this but forgiving someone serves as a way to bond to the other person. We grow closer and the relationship becomes stronger as a result.
How do we forgive?
After someone has hurt us it’s easy to let time pass and dwell on the hurt. It builds up over time and before we know it, we’re confronting the person who has hurt us. We do all of this without taking it to God first. Especially when the hurt is big, we need to take the hurt to God. There have been far too many times, after sitting on a wrong done to me, I have brought the wrong to the person long before I brought it to God. Bringing it to God prepares your heart and head to be in the right place. If you present it before God he will show you how you need to move forward with the hurt you’ve been sitting on. He may heal you of the hurt and you may not need to go to that person and confront them, to begin with.
Relationships are hard. They’re messy. And they bring out the rawest side of us. Relationships can feel like being blindfolded walking near the edge of a cliff. It’s easy to write about practical tips for making a relationship work and easy to understand the theory behind them. When you’re in the midst of the struggle, though, it’s difficult to put it into practice. If you’re in that place and don’t know where to start, try forgiving.
written by: Samantha Warner, February 2017
Samantha is a Michigan native who was adopted by Ohio several years ago. Samantha writes content marketing and product descriptions. She holds a BA in Sociology from The Ohio State University.