It’s a tough topic.
Seriously, just my mention of the word probably stirred some intense emotions inside you.
Let me get to the point… then explain.
I think the most destructive mistake in life is not forgiving.
If we are to love others, we must forgive them first. Right? Forgiveness must always be love’s first act. I don’t think we can love until we forgive.
Forgiveness can’t just be some leverage we use to manipulate people into apologizing to us. Forgiveness can’t be withheld based on our feelings.
Forgiveness needs to be offered regardless of whether or not it is asked for.
Forgiveness needs to be an extension of who we are.
Forgiveness is so important to God that He bases our salvation on it. He instructed us pray, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
We are to ask God to forgive us just as much as we forgive others.
So take a look in the mirror with me. Enough said?
But here is the other side of the coin. Since forgiveness is love’s first act, as soon as we learn to be people of forgiveness, we can be free to love.
I think if we take an honest look at the times we withhold forgiveness, we will see that deep down we want to forgive that person. But sometimes the hurt is too much for us to let go of. Or sometimes we feel they don’t deserve it. Or sometimes we feel they should ask for it.
But God doesn’t do any of those with us right?
He loves us while we were still sinning. See Nathaniel and the Fig Tree.
He loves us when we don’t deserve it… He chooses us. See John 15:16
He loves us when we don’t know how to ask. See Matthew 18:1-5
Let it go. Forgive so you can be free to love.