We were seated in the cool of the evening, chatting about life when he turned to me and said, “you need to forgive X.” My eyes popped and I ask…
What did you say?
You heard me…you need to forgive X.
Why does it always have to be me starting things? Why can’t people see when they have hurt me and just ask for forgiveness?
Why do you hold onto these feelings and refuse to forgive them? It’s a two-way street you know?
I was so done with this particular conversation I remained silent…seemingly pondering but actually stewing on the matter, then the piece below showed up on my timeline…
#Borrowed = Forgiveness: The Double-Edged Word
Do you ever find yourself defining life by before and after the deep hurt?
The horrific season. The conversation that stunned you. The shocking day of discovery. The divorce. The wrongful death so unfathomable you still can’t believe they are gone. The breakup. The day your friend walked away. The hateful conversation. The remark that seems to now be branded on your soul. The day everything changed.
That marked moment in time. Life before. Life now. Is it even possible to move on from something like this? Is it even possible to create a life that’s beautiful again?
When your heart has been shattered and reshaped into something that doesn’t quite feel normal inside your own chest yet, the word forgiveness feels a bit unrealistic to bring into the conversation.
Forgiveness is possible, but it won’t always feel possible.
It’s a double-edged word, isn’t it?
It’s hard to give. It’s amazing to get. But when we receive it so freely from the Lord and refuse to give it, something heavy starts to form in our souls.
It’s the weight of forgiveness that wasn’t allowed to pass through.
Forgiveness isn’t something hard we have the option to do or not do. Forgiveness is something hard-won that we have the opportunity to participate in.
When I wrongly think forgiveness rises and falls based on all my efforts, conjured maturity, bossed-around resistance, and gentle feelings that feel real one moment and fake the next, I’ll never be able to authentically give the kind of forgiveness Jesus has given me.
My ability to forgive others is made possible when I lean into what Jesus has already done, which allows His grace for me to flow freely through me (Ephesians 4:7).
Forgiveness isn’t an act of my determination.
Forgiveness is only made possible by my cooperation.
Cooperation is what I’ve been missing. Cooperation with what Jesus has already done makes verses like Ephesians 4:32 possible. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Forgiving one another just as Christ forgave you. God knew we couldn’t do it on our own. So, He made a way not dependent on our strength. A forgiving way. A way to grab on to Jesus’ outstretched arms, bloody from crucifixion and dripping with redemption. He forgives what we could never be good enough to make right. And makes a way for us to simply cooperate with His work of forgiveness…for us to receive and for us to give.
That person or people—they’ve caused enough pain for you, and for those around us. There’s been enough damage done. And you don’t have to be held hostage by the pain. You get to decide how you’ll move forward.
If you’re knee-deep in pain and resonate with the feelings of resistance, let me assure you; forgiveness is possible. And it is good.
Not original to me…
I am still on the journey, I have so much to work through but I know that is the best way to go for me. It is a choice I will continue to make until I am totally free and I will remain free.