Early in my Christian walk I thought forgiveness was easy. Friends ask for forgiveness and I give it. Simple as that. But as my journey progressed I learned that forgiveness is not so easily given or obtained. As one who has been hurt many times through the years and held many a grudge, I’ve come to realize forgiveness is a process. One in which I cannot do alone. I think most would agree that human nature is to “live and learn”. And so when I get hurt my natural instinct is to be more cautious and careful the next time around, shielding my heart from the pain that inevitably follows a betrayal.
But the Lord calls us to live beyond our natural instincts.
Colossians 3:13 says to forgive as the Lord has forgiven us. And in Matthew 18 when Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother the Lord replies, “I tell you not seven times, but seventy-seven times”. But you and I both know that is easier said than done. When I am betrayed by those I love the wound is that much deeper. And if the wound is poked and prodded it will often leave a scar. Throughout my journey to forgiveness I’ve found in Matthew 26 that Jesus himself has been betrayed. By one of the twelve. The twelve he spent most of his days with were as close as any family He had. These were His friends, His family, and His beloved.
I am comforted knowing that the Lord Almighty through His son Jesus knows by firsthand experience how I feel in the midst of betrayal. He understands the humiliation, the loneliness, the anger, the bitterness and the reluctance to trust again. He’s been there. And so when I go to my Father with a heavy heart, I hand over the hurt to the ultimate healer and beg to be merciful in loving those who have caused me pain just as Christ has done for us. In closing, I challenge you to begin your own journey to forgiveness with the Lord and let Him restore you completely.
**This article was originally published on the World Bible School Blog. That blog is no longer functioning so I wanted to share this article with my followers here. Enjoy and may you be encouraged.