How to forgive
For reading & meditation: Proverbs 30:21-33
“‘ as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife.” (v.33)
If difficulties concerning basic trust on a natural level can hinder our ability to trust at a spiritual level, how do we as Christians overcome this? The first thing we must do is demonstrate a willingness to forgive those who hurt us. “That’s hard,” you might say. My reply is: “Yes, in the case of those who have been badly let down, it is hard – but not impossible.” Here’s how you do it. Focus first on how much you have been forgiven. The key to forgiving others is to enter into a realized awareness of how much God has forgiven you. When people say to me during a counselling session, “My problem is that I can’t forgive,” I usually respond by saying, “No, that’s not your problem. Your problem is that you dont know how much you have been forgiven.” It may be difficult for some to see this, especially those who have gone through deep hurt, but nothing others have done to you is as awful as what you have done to God. If you have difficulty with the last statement, it is because you do not understand the nature of sin. Sin is taking the Creator of the universe and relegating Him to irrelevance; it is saying to the One who made us – “I can run my life on my own terms.” Sin is insanity – and you and I have been guilty of that. Yet in Christ God has forgiven us, pardoned us, and bestowed upon us His royal favor. Having been given such forgiveness, can we, dare we, withhold it from anyone who has betrayed our trust, no matter how horrifying that hurt has been?
Father, Your Word is frank and open – help me to respond to it in the same way. Take from me every biting hesitancy, every fear and apprehension, every refusal to accept responsibility. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
For further study:
1. How are we to forgive?
2. Do you need to forgive someone today?