If you’ve been born . . . someone has done something to hurt or offend you, and you have done something to hurt or offend another. So, that would mean we need to be forgiven and we need to be forgivers.
There was a time in my life when it was easier to build high walls around numb places, where I didn’t have to forgive or care if I was forgiven. Then, my Father rescued me from the cold dwelling and taught me well. . . . showing me radical forgiveness . . . and putting me in countless situations of having to forgive . . . radically.
My mom (dear as she was) used the familiar phrase often, “I can forgive, but I can’t forget” . . . but, I have heard a more useful phrase . . . We have to forgive, because we can’t forget.
I have been a part of Precept Inductive Bible studies for decades. I love discovering the original language of God’s Word. It’s like reading the Bible in High Definition. The Greek word for forgive aphiemi means to send away, a dismissal, and to release.
But, it’s hard isn’t it? We can’t just click delete when someone has stolen our life with a dark offense. A doctor’s mistake, a friend’s betrayal, a child turning away, the multi-colored violations that occur in our lifetime are just too deep and hurtful to send away, dismiss, or release sometimes.
But, we have to . . . . or those things form bitter root within our heart and push out the One who wants to take full residence within.
Jesus the forgiver, the One who showed us how, by offering His life on a cross because of our dark offenses, betrayals, and turning away.
Through years of practice but many times failing, I have found forgiveness to be the journey of a heart. Never instant . . . just an instant choice. It always begins with a choice that leads to a process. We have to choose to walk in it before our feet catch up.
I’ve also learned numbness is not forgiveness. It dresses up like repression. It will resurface in a collision of heart and flashbacks if not dealt with.
And then there is the alternative . . . what if I don’t forgive?
Now the door opens for another enemy to drop by . . . in order that satan might not outwit us for we are not unaware of his schemes. . .2 Corinthians 2:11 (NIV).
The spiritual as well as the medical benefits of forgiving someone, especially ourselves, is life-changing. Becoming firmly rooted in Scripture is medicine for pain (with no side effects!)
Let’s heal. Let’s rehearse a verse, instead of the grudge.
Take one (verse) a day for a week and call me in the morning:
- Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:25
- He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14
- Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:13
- Repent and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. Acts 3:19
- Good sense makes one slow to anger and it is his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11
- For I will be merciful toward their iniquities and I will remember their sins no more. Hebrews 8:12
- Consider my affliction and my trouble and forgive all my sins. Psalm 25:18
Look up 23 more verses on forgiveness and feel healthy for a whole month!