“If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?” – Jesus; John 20:23
What do you plan on doing with that resentment?
One day, you fling it into the garbage, so ready to be done with it. The next, you pick it back up to work it over some more. Just when you feel like you’ve chased away all the demons, the pain creeps up from behind and dulls the sunshine on your skin. Why dig it out of the trash again? It’s not going to look different this time. It’s not going to change shape or reveal hidden secrets.
Do you think that, by forgiving, it means you have to forget? Are you afraid forgiving means that what happened was okay?
“Forgiving isn’t the same as forgetting what happened to you. The act that hurt or offended you may always remain a part of your life. But forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, positive parts of your life. Forgiveness also doesn’t mean that you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn’t minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act.” – Katherine M. Piderman, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic
You are hurting because of the sin against you, but do you realize that when you hang on to the pain, you hang on to the sin? When you forgive someone, it unties you from the thoughts and feelings that keep you bound to it.
What are you afraid of? Are you scared that forgiving your enemy will leave nothing between the two of you? If you can’t hold your distrust and resentment against them, you might see them as a person. If you see them as a person, you might be able to understand them and their failure and that would be an insult to all the hard work that sin has done in you. How do you validate your pain? How do you protect yourself? Sin, even against you, has implanted itself under your skin. In order to survive, you have made changes which allow you to live with this new guest.
Divisions. Broken relationships. Avoidance. All fruits of self. (Galatians 5:19-21)
An empty house begs to be filled with whatever is available at the moment. Don’t you know that whatever is built on a corrupt foundation, one way or another, will come down? Do it now. On your terms.
It’s true that forgiveness can lead to understanding, empathy and compassion. Does your stomach turn at the thought of applying those feelings to the one who hurt you? That’s completely understandable. However, they also line you up with scripture. Look at the characteristics of love in 1 Corinthians 13.
The sinner can’t go back an undo what they did. There is no way to make it up to you.
But, you can get rid of it. Not by throwing it in the trash or by pretending that it doesn’t bother you.
“If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good.” – Jesus; John 20:23
Make a friend.
“If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you’ve made a friend. – Jesus; Matthew 18:15