|   Log In

Christian Life

The Battle to Forgive….Won! by PI Girl Sarah

“I’m sorry, will you forgive me?”

As a kid, we hear these words from our siblings all the time and we say them just as often. Most of the time, we say “Yeah” or “It’s no big deal.” But what about when it’s bigger? What about when you’ve really been hurt? How do we forgive then? Is it even possible?

I’ve forgiven people all of my life and never thought anything of it. Honestly, I was just going through the motions. Then, two years ago, I was deeply hurt by someone I trusted a lot. Someone I looked up to and cared about. Suddenly forgiveness wasn’t so easy. I struggled not to become bitter and angry. I wanted to forgive; I didn’t want to hold a grudge, but how can you forgive and know that you honestly and truly forgive that person? Everyone is betrayed or hurt by someone sometime in their life. Maybe it’s your parent, your boyfriend, your best friend or a leader in your church. It’s then that you question everything—even your faith, if you’re like me.

 

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:21-22)

 

Obviously, the disciples struggled with forgiveness, too. Peter thought he was being generous, suggesting that he forgive his brother seven times (the Pharisees taught that three was more than enough). He must have been shocked when Jesus said 77 times—basically saying forgive forever. It’s not easy, especially when you don’t want to. But Jesus commands it.

 

[Jesus said] “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:23)

This thought is echoed in the Lord’s Prayer where it says “forgive us our trespasses [sins], as we forgive those who trespass against us.” What Jesus is saying, what we are asking God, is to forgive us according to how we forgive other people. Forgiveness is something we are commanded to do. It’s hard, but “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

When I was struggling with forgiveness, I asked my mom, “How do I know if I have forgiven this person? I want to forgive, but I don’t know if I have.” I was still hurt and upset, so I didn’t know if I had truly forgiven. She told me that you’ve truly forgiven someone if you want the best for them; if you harbor no feelings of anger or revenge. You don’t have to love someone or trust them or even want to ever see them again to have forgiven them.

Something else to think about is what about when the other person is not sorry? The person I struggled to forgive was not even sorry (that I knew of) about what they had done. For all I know, they still aren’t sorry. Even then, we must forgive.

I have forgiven by the grace of God, and you can, too. He does not ask you to do it by your own will.

“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty. (Zechariah 4:6b)

He promises to help you and to give you strength. He will go with you.

Image: Lightstock | Pearl

POST A COMMENT

You must be logged in to post a comment.

9 Comments

  1. ata9

    Posted by ata9 on January 18, 2015 at 11:29

    Last year one of my closest friends really hurt me. She would spread awful lies about me to everyone and tried to make my other friends not like me. She graduated from my school soon afterwards, but I’ve still been struggling to forgive her, especially since I know that she’d do the same thing if another opportunity came up. Recently someone gave me some really good advice on how to forgive her. They said that I should pray for her every night, and not just pray like “Dear God, please help her to be less mean” but a genuine prayer asking for Him to shower her with blessings. Praying for good to come to her has really helped me to genuinely want the best for her. 🙂

  2. Publicpassion

    Posted by Publicpassion on January 11, 2015 at 20:33

    I love this! I’m so happy you got to forgive! I learned to forgive when i found out “forgive and forget” is not true. I remembered things people had done, and thought I was not forgiving. But that’s not true. I was just being careful, which is great! Although one part I must argue. We do still have to love them. We can knock them out of our lives, but Jesus would love, and so must we. Thank you for sharing!

    • Smylinggirl

      Posted by Smylinggirl on January 13, 2015 at 13:34

      Yes, another person made the loving them point. I was talking about love as I love my family and friends. I love my enemies – at least I think I do – but it is substantially different from love to my family and friends. Maybe in this point I am not living like Jesus and I need to work on it. Thanks for commenting though, because I want to know if I erred theologically.

  3. hannahbananabear

    Posted by hannahbananabear on January 11, 2015 at 18:15

    i needed this…. I had someone (well… a used to be friend) pretty much destroy me. I didn’t know what todo cause she was like my only friend. she spread rumors and lies about me. She lied to me to my sisters. she really hurt me and I didn’t know what I was going to do. Until God lead this to me. Thanks, PI!

    • Smylinggirl

      Posted by Smylinggirl on January 13, 2015 at 13:35

      I’m so glad this helped you and I am so sorry for the hurt you endured. I understand.

  4. Project Inspired

    Posted by Sophia_the_1st on January 11, 2015 at 16:32

    I’m confused about when you said that “You don’t have to love someone…to have forgiven them.” Doesn’t the bible say “Love your enemies”? And “bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse.”

    • Smylinggirl

      Posted by Smylinggirl on January 13, 2015 at 13:30

      Thanks for bringing this up. You are completely right. I guess I meant that love as we think of it does not have to exist to forgive. There is a middle between love and hate I think. I don’t hate anyone – except the devil – but I also do not love them as I love my family and friends. Maybe this is wrong and Jesus wants us to love our enemies as our family and friends. I don’t know. Hope this helps explain what I was thinking a little.

  5. JoyfullyIrene

    Posted by JoyfullyIrene on January 11, 2015 at 12:43

    Thankyou! I really needed this.