April 9, 2019
Put on…forgiving each other:
as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
“...and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
In the news, there was a story about a man who lost his pregnant wife and unborn child in a tragic car accident involving his wife’s car and another vehicle. The driver of the other car fell asleep and crossed the center line smashing head on into the wife’s car. The story was not so much about the accident itself, but about the grieving husband and father who forgave the other driver. The husband said, “You forgive as you have been forgiven.”
There are countless other stories about remarkable, everyday people who find the strength and mercy to forgive those who have inflicted pain or hurt on them, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Perhaps you have a similar personal story. The best role model for us regarding forgiveness is our Lord, Jesus Christ. While Jesus was being crucified, he cried out, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
Sometimes it takes a long time to forgive those who hurt us. We may find it very difficult to forgive even something minor that occurred a long time ago. But the more we harbor the hurt and pain, the more that we imprison ourselves with the memory of the experience. This prevents us from living freely.
Every Sunday, we pray the Lord’s Prayer—a prayer we have recited most of our lives. We know well the part of the prayer where we ask God for forgiveness while also stating that we forgive those who sin against us.
But is this true? Have we forgiven everyone who has sinned against us? Close your eyes and reflect for a moment. Is there any unforgiveness in your heart?
The answer might be obvious, but sometimes unforgiveness hides deep within our hearts. It can be so subtle that we don’t recognize it.
It’s been said, “Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and then hoping the other person dies.” Forgiveness will set you free and makes healing possible. Ask for God’s help today to forgive someone who has hurt you and let the healing begin.