But Why Forgive?
The first reason that I knew to forgive another person was that I, too, needed God’s forgiveness; so, I could not withhold it from somebody else.
“And when you stand praying,
if you hold anything against anyone,
so that your Father in heaven
may forgive you your sins.”
Mark 11: 25
Second, I believed that if the one who hurt me really understood what they were doing, then they would not be doing it. Doing wrong keeps one in darkness.
‘Father, forgive them,
for they do not know what they are doing.'”
Third, I knew that if I held onto unforgiveness, it would hurt only me. I reflected on Matthew 18:21-35.
Fourth, I knew that God’s Word proclaimed that ‘Vengeance is Mine.’ That is, it is God’s job, not mine, to execute justice.
“Do not take revenge, my friends,
but leave room for God’s wrath,
for it is written:
‘It is mine to avenge;
I will repay,’says the Lord.”
I knew that God Himself could do a much better job at handling what the person had done than I could. The sooner that I stepped out of the way, the more that God could move into that person’s heart and life. So I handed this person over to God by making the choice, aloud, to forgive them.
It was simply a choice to forgive them, having nothing to do with my feelings which would change back and forth with a thought or a memory.
Forgiveness did not mean that I had agreed with what they had done. It just meant that I was willing to allow God to handle the person in His way and in His time.
It was a choice that I would have to make repeatedly, but one that I had already settled in my heart, so I did not need to use up energy pondering about whether I would or would not do it. I simply did it again, aloud, every time I noticed that I felt offended.
Sometimes, when it was very hard, I’d pray, “Lord, I am willing, please help me to forgive them.” And when I opened my heart to God, He was faithful to fill it with His supernatural love and strength to forgive those who had hurt me.
I also knew that it did not mean I was fully healed from the wound that had been inflicted; it just was a first step in the journey I would travel towards healing, keeping me close to God, and allowing God’s plan to unfold in my life.
Excerpt from When God Is Faithful, And Your Husband Isn’t, by Janice Porter Lynch 2011