Have you heard these words? “I’ll never forgive him….” Or “I will never be able to forgive her for what she has done to me…” Have you heard those words? Said those words?
“Forgive” is a verb, a word that requires action. One who forgives releases resentment, or a claim against another for a wrong. One who forgives grants relief from a debt owed to him by another.
For a Christian, to forgive is not optional. God’s commands are never up for debate. And, in some way I don’t pretend to completely understand, your forgiveness and mine is tied to the way we forgive others.
“Forgive” is a verb, it is an act of the will. God has said “forgive” so don’t say “I can’t”, or “I’m not able”, or “I can never”, be truthful and say “I choose not to”. That is the truth isn’t it? God says do it and you say…….”no”?
Forgiveness is love in a different container. Love is not complete until it is given by an act, like faith, love if alone is only a warm emotion. Only when the object of your love is able to appreciate it is it complete and full. Try to forgive in the same way. Treat the person you want to forgive as if you have. Acts of kindness, greeting with a smile, never mentioning wrongs (real of imagined), but speaking only what is pure, true, and uplifting, and before you know it your heart will catch up with your mind and you will find that you have really forgiven. What a cleansing release!
Forgiveness freely given, expecting nothing in return, given even to one who is undeserving perhaps in your view, is God’s way of wiping bitterness out of your heart and mind forever.
“Forgive” as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. Can you hear Jesus say from the cross? “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing”. The next time you are faced with the opportunity to be Christ to someone in the wrong, just forgive.