There is a topic that I know we can all relate to. It is one that we all have experienced. Something that is unpleasant at times.
I have written about it many times. In many different contexts. I don’t know that I have blogged about this aspect of it, though.
Forgiveness…even without an apology.
How in the world do you forgive someone if they haven’t apologized?
How do you do that? Is it even possible?
Do you have to?
The answer to “Do you have to?” is …NO. You don’t HAVE to do anything. You can hold a grudge. Be bitter. Let unforgiveness take residence in your mind and soul. OR, you can do for others just as God does for you. YOU CAN FORGIVE. EVERYTHING. ANYTHING.
Only through having a relationship with GOD. A real one. A consistent one. Praying. Listening to God.
And then. It is still sometimes difficult. This I know, it can’t be done on your own. It takes the strength that comes from God.
Face it. Life isn’t fair. Unfortunately, even Christians hold onto something called PRIDE. Even Christians don’t always do what God calls us to do. Forgive. Pray for those who persecute us. Love your “enemy”. Turn the other cheek. Admit our faults.
So, how can we really and truly forgive and move on…when the one who hurt us, doesn’t see it? How can we get better when we are holding on to the hurt?
I can tell you this. God IS the ONLY TRUE SOURCE of PEACE and COMFORT. He IS Forgiveness. He IS Love.
I can’t tell you that you truly ever quit hurting completely. You may and you may not. I suppose that is because we struggle with trusting God fully…unfortunately. We just do. We want things “our way”. Or atleast..I know that I do..
There comes a time when we have to choose to move on. Move on whether or not there is mutual forgiveness. Move on even if the other person NEVER apologizes. Really. Leaving it all in the hands of God. Trusting Him fully. Even when we just don’t understand. Trusting that HIS timing is way different than ours. His ways are completely different than ours…THANK GOODNESS!!
Ephesians 4:31,32 (NIV) ~ Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
As long as you have truly done what is right in God’s eyes…you can move on. Notice that I didn’t say “what is right in your own eyes”.
Hosea 14:9 (NIV) ~ Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.
It really is possible to forgive even when the other person doesn’t. It really is possible to forgive and move forward even when the one who hurt you doesn’t seem to care. See, God does care. He does know the outcome. We simply have to trust Him and do what is right on our end. That is all we can really do.
In God’s Word, He specifically calls us to forgive. Not just the ones WE want to forgive. (Colossians 3:13)
There is no better feeling than forgiveness. Think about the times you have hurt others and hurt God…and how you were forgiven by others and God. It is a feeling of relief…right? That feeling of being forgiven. That feeling of peace.
It is possible to forgive when you are walking closely with God. It is possible to love others just like Jesus does.
Colossians 3:12 – 14 (NIV) ~ Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
I hope that as we end the year, that we all take a long, hard look within. Is there bitterness we are holding on to? Unforgiveness? Pride? Resentment? Hurt?
We have to place all of our hope in God. He never lets us down.
He always forgives. He always forgets.
We should too.
What a gift it is…Forgiveness.
What a gift Jesus was and is…Redeemer..Savior..The Forgiver of our sins..
What a gift to give someone as the year comes to an end….a wrong being made right. An apology. With no expectations, except to make things right. And, to show them JESUS.
Life is so short …this life here on this earth. We aren’t promised tomorrow or even the next second. It’s never too late to make a fresh start.
With others and with God. AND, if it is in HIS plans..reconciliation may be an extra bonus for your relationship with the one who hurt you or the one you hurt…
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! Wishing peace and joy to you and your family…and a fresh start. Because…it IS possible.
UNTIL NEXT TIME,