Recently I called to mind the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant, and that got me thinking about forgiveness. It got me thinking about how anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ, anyone who claims to be redeemed by Him, does the entire Body injustice whenever they hold a grudge on somebody else.
I’ve always thought myself to be a very forgiving person. Cocky, I know. But let’s face it. There are some things we think we are amazing at. For a long time mine was forgiveness. Man, I’ve been living life thinking how easy it is for me to get over negative things people have done, pitying others for not being able to do the same. Until I realised the other day how flawed my definition of “forgive” is.
Forgive is not pretending you’re over it, just so that they don’t leave
You’ll get over it because you’re after approval. But then it simmers inside, and begins to manifest itself slowly, and confuses both of you every time you refuse to open up, or expect the worst out of a person.
Forgive is not declaring a ceasefire because you’re running away from drama
“It’s fine. Let it go. Let’s not talk about it.” will eventually be followed by “But you know you lied the other time; I can’t trust you to tell the truth this time.”
Forgiveness is definitely not passive aggressive
“What’s wrong?” “Nothing.”
Forgive is not relationally distant
I am not sure “pushing people away” when they hurt you is what God means when he asks us to guard our hearts. Chances are, you’re doing quite the contrary if you haven’t dealt with it.
Forgive does not remember
Humanly impossible? Yes. That’s what Grace looks like.
Forgive does not require an apology as a prerequisite
We let go because we have been forgiven, not because we think that someone deserves it, otherwise we set ourselves as higher tribunals that Christ. An apology is a noble act, not a cry for mercy, and definitely not one for pity.
Forgive is liberating
If you still feel trapped, your Forgive has cracks.
The reason why people are cynical and pessimistic in life is not because they have been hurt before. It is because they failed to forgive. The reason it is harder to let go of your past is not because someone hurt you before. It is because you still hold on to the resentment you have about it. The reason people fail to trust others is because they are afraid of getting hurt, because they haven’t forgiven the original hurt. And sometimes, people aren’t even aware that they have not forgiven their past.
So here goes:
synonyms: personal, no one else has to know, freedom, liberation, spiritual and emotional forgetfulness.
I forgive you
2 to cancel a debt; reflexive by a heart that understands it has been forgiven.
synonyms: Christlikeness, the cross, the point of Christmas, and Easter, paid it all, the blood.
I forgive you
3 to treat a person EXACTLY the same way I would have treated them had they not have done what they did in the first place; to live life as if nothing ever happened.
synonyms: heart amnesia, genuine amnesia, never-bringing-up-the-past kind of love.