I think that we as a society struggle with the idea of forgiveness. We tend to hold a grudge towards others, especially when we fill we have been wronged and should have restitution. I find it’s easier to forgive a spouse, children, family member, and close friends versus people I barely know or strangers. What do you think?
How long does it take you to forgive a person when they have done something that offends you or makes you mad? Personally I think it depends on the situation, the action that was done, who the person is. For example I can be aggravated at the kids because they didn’t pick up there dirty laundry or dishes but only lasts the few minutes and quickly passes. When my husband and I have a disagreement or argument it can take longer to forgive if we are not on the same page with the way we want to spend the money, something to do with the kids etc… Most of our big disagreements have come from money and how we should spend it.
Family can be a totally different situation. Dynamics in a family can be touchy for some and difficult to navigate. Some family situations are no big deal and others cause stress and anxiety. Holidays and celebrations tend to be the worst. Forgiveness in a family situation is also hard. I know first hand that the forgiveness that needs to happen never comes because of the wrong that was done was hurtful and was never reconciled before that family member passed away. It lingers and the family who are left has to move on with their lives and move past the hurt and anger. That I believe is the hardest part.
Jesus had several discussions on forgiveness, in Matthew 18:22 the disciples were asking him how many times they should forgive a person who sins against them and Jesus replied to Peter “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” NASB In Luke 11:4 Jesus was teaching the disciples how to pray and in the second part of the prayer He says “And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
Jesus again was teaching on forgiveness in Luke 17:3-4 and says “Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent’, forgive him.” He made forgiveness the foundation our relationship with God. To forgive others shows how much we understand the need to be forgiven ourselves.
Jesus knew the ultimate sacrifice was going to be made and knew he was going to take on the sins of the world. He died for our sins and forgave us of all we would ever do before we even were born. Can you imagine? All he asks us to do is to forgive those that ask forgiveness and to keep doing it.
1 Corinthians 13 speaks of love. We know this chapter to be the love chapter but we can also look at it when it comes to forgiveness. In the first part of the chapter it says I can have tongues of men and angels, I can have prophecy, all the knowledge, all the faith to love to move mountains but if I do not love I am nothing! I can give up everything to feed the poor or to be burned but if I don’t have love I am nothing! Apart from love we are nothing and we have to have love to forgive.
How are you today on love? How are you with forgiveness? It has been a struggle for me as I am sure at times for some of you. I would urge you forgive, there is freedom in the forgiving and the release it brings. If you are still in the process of it, it can take time and healing. But there is always hope. “But now faith, hope, love abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1Cor 13:13