As He Forgave Us
As we live our lives as followers of Christ, one of the most difficult things we are called to do is find a place in our hearts to forgive those that have sinned against us or our loved ones. When we withhold forgiveness from others we will never get to experience the true freedom that we claim to have through Christ. We have all experienced times in our lives when others do things to us or against us that causes hurt down deep and it sits, causing us to dwell on what has been done; this results in bitterness, anger, and sometimes pure rage. I believe that this, unfortunately, is a completely human response to the hurt and pain that we experience as we live our lives in a broken world. However, in this world, we are called to be better and to do better than what the rest of the world expects. Our reactions to those that have wronged us cannot be that of revenge but are expected to be that of forgiveness. Forgiveness is often more beneficial to the forgiver than for the forgiven.
When we allow the hurt and pain to live deep down and we do not forgive, we allow something to happen that will only continue to grow and manifest itself deeper and deeper. We allow the hurt and pain to turn into bitterness and until forgiveness takes place, that bitterness will continue to grow and manifest itself in our lives. Like a small root that grows into a huge tree, bitterness springs up in our hearts and can overshadow our deepest Christian relationships. Hebrews 12:15 says, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Like a root that absorbs and stores, so does our heart absorb and stores hurt, anger, hatred, and thoughts of revenge. When we forgive and love one another as we are supposed to, we keep no record of wrongs. But when we allow the bitterness to dwell within us, that bitterness helps us to keep detailed accounts of all things that have been done to us. Bitterness allows us to justify our feelings and lack of forgiveness shown towards those who have wronged us. But there is no escaping the fact that we cannot live with bitterness, hatred, and rage. As He forgave us, so must we forgive….