I’m working on forgiveness. It is extremely hard. Something that helps me is 2 Corinthians 2:10 –
What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ.
I have been talking with a lot of students lately who are dealing with the same issue: Conflict Resolution. In Matthew 18 Jesus speaks to this issue when He explains the parable of the ungrateful servant. In the end the ungrateful servant was worse off than before because even though he was forgiven, he wouldn’t forgive someone who owed him a small amount. Matthew 18:34 says:
Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.
That’s what I feel like when I don’t forgive…torture, imprisonment. You see, the people I haven’t forgiven (including my amazing wife) are trapped in a prison because of me, and they don’t even realize it. But, when I see them in the prison and leave them there I find out that I can’t leave when I try to. I’m trapped in my own jail. My unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy and anger have enslaved me. When I don’t forgive I’m really the one in danger.
Too man times I tell myself, “they really hurt me and don’t even care” or “they are blaming me for something they did!” But forgiveness doesn’t absolve anyone of blame. It doesn’t clear their record with God. It just clears you of having to worry about how to punish them. When I forgive people I am not turning them loose…just turning them over to God to deal with them.
Now, I’ve released my anger and responsibility for judging this person to the Lord! I’m free! I can love my wife the way Christ tells me to. I can care for others without judgmental attitudes. I can not worry about how people have wronged me. How do I know this? When I think of them I don’t get enraged and my temper doesn’t flare up. I hope this helps someone out there dealing with this as well. Christ wants you to be free!