As Christians, we’re called to forgive. We are to forgive because He forgave us (Ephesians 4:32) and we are to forgive so that we can be forgiven (Matthew 6:14).
However, we’re human and forgiveness isn’t always easy. Sometimes, the idea of it can make us roll our eyes with pride and disgust. Nevertheless, we are called to a higher level of love than the world, and forgiveness is a part of that love.
If you followed my blogs before now, then you may have noticed that I pulled away for a minute. I stopped writing blogs, and my website went down. At that time, some major changes in my life occurred, and now I'm in a season of forgiveness.
Honestly, I knew then in the valley that this was going to be the hardest part. But I guess I didn't realize how hard.
How do you forgive years of pain? How do you forgive when you don’t want to? How do you forgive without an apology or an acknowledgement of the offense?
Now, we all know the right answer is Jesus, but how do we bring that down from Heaven? How do we apply that? What does that look like in our everyday lives?
In Luke 23:34 NIV,
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
He was referring to the men who had just nailed him to a cross.
So there you have it folks! The way we forgive the people who have hurt us, is to pray for them. Now, I know if you’re anything like me, and you’re currently in this season, then that was probably the last thing you wanted to read. Haha!
However, it's true. We must follow our Savior's example and it's hard to hate people you’re praying for. Even hours leading up to Jesus' death He sent up a prayer for those who were persecuting him at that moment.
We are to pray for our enemies; we are to pray for those who persecute us; we are to pray for those who hurt us, and we are to pray for ourselves.
I was humbled in my time away from blogging, and I’ve started to learn who God is. It’s funny because when I started Christian Girl, I thought I was already on the path of a decent understanding of Him. (Pride makes a fool of us every time, right? Lol!).
I've been taught one of the best realizations we can all come to, is knowing and accepting that we are weak, and He is strong. We need Him, and he knows we need him. Therefore, when we come to him with our weakness and imperfections. He doesn’t hate us for it, or shame us or guilt us.
We were created to worship and to walk with Him. He loves us for who we are right now in this very moment. He loves our ugliness; he loves our prettiness; he loves every inch of us.
With that, we don't have to pretend to be perfect. There is no need to hide our unforgiveness, our hatred, or our resentment in our hearts and act as if we have forgiven people we haven't. He knows it's there (He's our Father and Creator for Christ's sake!).
You can go to him and say, "I’m angry with this person, and I have unforgiveness in my heart." or "I have trauma. I'm hurt, and I don’t want to forgive them for what they did to me, but I know I need to."
It's ok to be honest with Him and yourself.
Acknowledge your weakness and ask for His help.
I believe transparency helps the Church thrive. Not only with our Savior but also, with each other. Too many of us act like we’re perfect, and we’re not!
How can we successfully help each other or the world if we continue to walk around like our poop doesn’t stink, and we have it all together? Let's start being honest with ourselves about how hard things can be sometimes; forgiveness being one of them.
With that being said, I’m not going to pretend like I'm not still struggling. I find myself praying almost daily for help in forgiving others.
So I’ll end this blog with a prayer.
Thank you Jesus for your Holiness, and your Sovereignty, and your Compassion, and your Friendship, and for Salvation, and for your Forgiveness
Please forgive us for our sins and help us to forgive those who have sinned against us.
We ask that you soften our hearts to forgive those who have hurt us. Some of us are in a season when we don’t want to forgive, and we ask that you help us.
Help us to get to a state of wanting to forgive then help us to forgive.
Teach us your way
Help us to pray for them, help us to love them in spite of the pain help us to break free from the mindset that forgiveness equals weakness.
Help our minds and our hearts understand that there is strength in forgiveness.
There is power in forgiveness.
A strength and a power that can only come from you but a strength, and a power that you have given us freely.
You've given us access to it through your Son freely.
Please guide us.
Please grace us
Please have mercy on us.
We ask for more love, more joy, more peace.
In Jesus name, we pray Amen.