One of the hardest thing that I had to do was forgive someone that hurt me. For years I thought I was alright and I was hurting the person more by not forgiving, but as I grew older and wiser, I realized that I was only hurting myself. There is nothing worse than living a life of hurt because of the pain someone else afflicted on you and they continue to move on like nothing ever happened. At least that's what it appears to be or that's what we see. In Luke23:34 Jesus said, "Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." When Jesus was crucified, He asked His Father to forgive the very people that were trying to kill him. As I think about how Jesus was beaten until He was unrecognizable, He was betrayed by people that ate His table, He was talked about by people who really didn't know Him, and was rejected by the one closest to Him. Just like some of us, but He still knew forgiveness was greater.
In the movie, The Shack, the main character Mack was stuck, angry, bitter, had a lot of hate and unforgiveness against the man that raped and killed his five year old daughter. He couldn't move past the pain until he had an encounter with God. The most important thing he had to do was forgive the man that raped and killed his daughter. God reminded Mack that the killer was his child too. Now, that's hard to take in when you are hurting. The person that hurt you is God's child just like you are God's child. In other words, it's not for us to deal with them, it's for God to deal with them. (the sad thing is this very thing happened to a little five year old in a city nearby a few weeks ago #RIPKamarie). In the midst of this pain, we still have to find grace because forgiveness is greater.
We have been stuck long enough. We have been in pain long enough. We have played the incident over and over in our heads like it just happened yesterday long enough. We are still holding on to things that the other person has forgotten about or really don't remember doing anyway. When Jesus said forgive them for they do not know what they are doing, it means that we are angry with someone for doing something they do not know what they are doing is wrong, they are ignorant to what they are doing, or they don't know a better way of doing it. Forgiveness does not excuse what the other person did; it means you are letting God settle the score.
It's about to be the end of 2021 and the start of 2022. Let's start the year with forgiving those that have hurt, mistreated, ignored, rejected, abused, and/or abandoned us. Your purpose is bigger than your pain because forgiveness is greater.
(Forgiveness Is Greater book can be purchased on Amazon)