4 of 31 Days: Forgiving Is Kinda Big Deal
Learning to forgive is kinda like a big deal. It’s also possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I don’t mean giving lip service to someone so they’ll get off your back after insulting you. I’m talking about forgiveness in the truest sense of God’s word.
I think most men struggle with it because we are under the impression that forgiving someone lets them off the hook for what they did to hurt us. We amp up in the fantasy of getting even or an upper hand through revenge.
But forgiveness isn’t for the violator’s benefit, it’s for ours. Forgiving frees us from the hurt and the hurter. It allows us the spiritual authority to then define the scope of the relationship, or whether there will be one at all. Forgiveness doesn’t automatically mean reconciliation – that takes two.
I struggled with a relationship with someone for decades. A few years ago God pressed upon my heart that I had to forgive them. They are one of those people who are the illustration of the German term, Schadenfreude – “someone who gains great joy in other’s misery.”
I truly forgave this person, and immediately the barb-wired soul ties that had allowed them authority to tug and twist me into angry knots were severed. I was free.
Pulling A Fast One
But, do you recall when Peter thought he’d pull a fast one over on Jesus by asking about only forgiving 7 times? Yeah, Peter went off on his own a time or two just like we do, but Jesus quickly counseled him that we are to forgive 70 times 7. That doesn’t mean 490 times and then they’re condemned.
Well, today I think I topped the 490th time I’ve had to practice forgiveness. But the beauty of it is, instead of my blood boiling and frustration consuming an entire day of griping to Leah as she patiently listened, it was okay.
God Got It
Not that the situation was okay, but each time I wanted to say something negative about this person, I felt God’s peace reassuring me it was going to be cool. I also know that God goes ahead of us and into the midst of our enemies to win our battles.
I also know He’s on the job when it comes to exacting vengeance for wrongs gone unrighted.
“Avenge not yourselves, beloved, but give place unto the wrath of God: for it is written, Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will recompense, saith the Lord.”
~ Romans 12:19
I mean, seriously, who would you rather taking care of those who regal in making others miserable than God himself?