Do I have to forgive? - Allan Myers

Do I have to forgive...

 

...this person?

...when they did that?

...after so many times?

 

Before we attempt to answer these questions, I want to tell you how sorry I am for the broken heart and hollowness deep inside that gnaws at you because someone you loved and trusted has betrayed you.  I cannot pretend to fully realize how badly this weighs on you and affects every aspect of your life.  I do know Someone who understands it all, better than even you do, and, if you'll give Him your trust and your time, He can bring you out the other side of this stronger and better than you were before.

 

To anyone who has ever been wronged, God tells us to forgive, over and over.  He tells us to make repairs.  His words have authority and validity because He forgave originally.  He made the greatest reconciliation available to us through Christ. (Romans 5:6-11)

 

If you are taking advice from anywhere but God's Word then your answers to our three questions can all be, and will probably always be, no.  If you are looking to anyone but the Maker of Heaven and Earth for how to operate in the most difficult of times, then the world will say you don't ever have to make repairs because repairs can be long and difficult.  Just ask God - the story of the entire Bible is God repairing our sin against Him.

 

When we are wronged, especially by someone close to us, it stings.  We take it personally when that person inside our guard commits a serious offense against us.  Trust has been broken and, depending on many variables, can appear irreparable.  So now you have a choice to make.  If you choose TO forgive, you will have to act on that – maybe many times over – and it WILL require work on your part.  But if you choose NOT to forgive, then your actions will follow that decision as well, making it easier to allow the anger and hurt to take over your heart and dictate your actions.  Our actions can become habits, so consider whether you want to form a habit of forgiveness or “unforgiveness.”

 

If you have been offended, I pray you will read and pray on these verses.  These are just a start, but they are clear on where Our Lord stands on forgiveness and our actions toward those who have wronged us.

 

Exodus 23:4-5, Proverbs 19:11, Proverbs 24:17, Proverbs 25:21-22, Matthew 5:39-48, Matthew 6:12, Matthew 6:14-15, Matthew 18:21-22 & 23-35, Mark 11:25, Luke 6:35-37, Luke 17:3-4, Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13

 

Some closing thoughts to consider:  First, it's not always the case, but it might make it easier to extend forgiveness if we give honest thought to our own role in the situation.  Painful and unpleasant?  Yes, but helpful.  Second, there are almost always others besides you who will pay a huge price if you choose not to forgive.  Remember them when you are deciding what to do.  Lastly, don't try to do this alone.  Your church family wants to be there for you.  Let them lift you up when you don't have the strength to do it yourself.

 

I love you all.

 

Allan

 

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