You’ve probably heard someone say these words before. And you realize that’s a death sentence, right? You may have said those words with the intent to inflict pain on the recipient, but saying those words will cause you to endure a slow, bitter, decimation of the soul that will eventually eat away at your from the inside out. It’s not a pleasant phrase to hear when you are guilty of causing pain to another. It’s certainly not good to be the one saying it.
We all make mistakes. We all have done things we regret. My pastor, says, “We judge others by their actions, but we judge ourselves by our intentions.” He’s right. Basically, when I hurt others, I give myself the benefit of the doubt because I know I didn’t mean to hurt the person. But, when others hurt me, I assume they are out to destroy me and want to make my life miserable. Chances are, they just made a mistake - just like I do on a daily basis.
One of the harder parts of forgiveness is that we don’t always feel like forgiving. The problem is that feelings are often misleading and erratic. So to rely on the unreliable for something as transforming as forgiveness is to miss out on a chance to heal and move forward. You know you’ve forgiven your offender when you cease to feel resentment against them.
Forgiving my husband was a choice I had to make. He was repentant and full of sorrow. He apologized to me countless times. But, I still had to make the choice. So I did. It wasn’t easy, and I didn’t really feel like it.
We all need forgiveness. And we all need to extend that same forgiveness to others - not just today, but every day.
It’s time to forgive.
Do you struggle with forgiving people when they wound you? If so, why? Spend some time with your spouse today and ask him/her if you have wounded them and then sincerely apologize for hurting them.
But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing. -1 John 1:9
Everyone has sinned and is far away from God's saving presence. -Romans 3:23