Forgiveness is really hard to do. I mean true forgiveness is extremely difficult to give and to do.
Forgiveness is easy:
- When the person realizes the hurt they caused
- When they feel regret, and a sense of responsibility over the hurt
- When they ask for it and truly mean it
- When they learn from the mistake and don’t repeat it.
When all of those things happen forgiveness seems almost natural and it is almost easy.
But what about when those things don’t happen? How do you forgive when someone doesn’t want it? How do you forgive when someone doesn’t even think what they did was wrong? How do you forgive when someone intentionally hurts you and is happy about it?
It is in those instances that forgiveness is truly tough. We know holding onto hurt for years just causes bitterness and isn’t healthy. But the other option of just forgetting about it and letting it go doesn’t seem to do justice to the depth of hurt we feel. So we end up with two options that aren’t helpful or healthy. We can either hold onto it, or forget about it when really what we want is to deal with it. But how do you deal with it when the other person or party doesn’t care and doesn’t want to?
This is the complexity of forgiveness. This is the importance of the topic and on Sunday we’re taking a look at how to practice forgiveness in the truly tough situations. But before we get there have you ever had to forgive in a difficult situation? How did you do it? What helped and how did God work in you to heal?
And for all we still hold onto, on Sunday we’re going to explore how to give it to God…