Sometimes it is hard to sit and write a blog. Sometimes it is because you are busy and your brain is going in tons of directions. Other times it is hard because you feel like you are supposed to write about hard subjects. That is me right now. I know what I should be writing about...God keeps putting it on my heart, I keep reading about it in the books I am reading, and the topic keeps popping up in other areas too. That is how I know it is what I should be writing about, but the hard part is that writing about my topic means baring my soul which is always scary because you never know people's reactions. So if you are reading this, I ask you to be kind if you choose to comment.
Through a couple of books I have read lately and a couple of Bible studies I have been watching with my teen son, I have been reminded of some important things about forgiveness and I have learned some new things about it too. There are several situations in my life where I have tried and tried to give forgiveness, but the more I learn about it, the more I learn that I have not truly forgiven everyone involved in the situations. Sometimes it is myself that I haven't forgiven and sometimes it is other people. I really hate admitting this especially as a Christian because it isn't what we are supposed to do, but I am still human and struggle with areas of my life which is a reminder to me that God isn't done working in and on me and my life.
One of the main things lately that I have learned is that I can't say that I forgive someone and hold the pain, bitterness, and bad feelings against the person that hurt me. This doesn't mean that I won't still feel hurt in a situation because sometimes we do get hurt and it takes time to let go of the hurt. It means that when I say I forgive someone I have to make a choice. I either truly let go of the offense or I choose to hold on to the hurt, disappointment, and bitterness. If I choose to hold on to all the bad things it isn't doing anything to the one who hurt my feelings. That disappointment and bitterness doesn't make that person angry or keep them awake at night it only hurts me. No one can feel my grudge but me. I can't keep acting hurt or play the victim when I truly forgive, if I do these things then I haven't truly forgiven. Forgiveness doesn't mean that I won't be more cautious with a person because I don't want to get hurt again, but it does mean that I let go of the situation or the offense and I don't feel resentment towards that person. This is no easy task that is why I have God to help me.
I am so happy that I have God to help me with forgiveness because there are times that on my own, I would choose to hold a grudge, its the human in me. I thought about this and what right do I have to hold a grudge when I have a perfect example of someone who has every right to hold a grudge, yet He chose forgiveness instead. Think of it, Jesus has every right in the world according to human standards to hold a grudge. He was sinless, blameless, and didn't deserve to die the horribly cruel death on the cross that He did. He did nothing to warrant the cross, yet people blamed Him, lied about Him, and attacked Him. He had every right to disown all people forevermore, but He didn't instead He took a punishment He didn't earn and He showed that He loved us more than we deserve. He even asked for forgiveness for us before He died on the cross. Thankfully He rose again 3 days later. He didn't have to do any of that, but He did. He followed God's will for Him and He showed what true forgiveness is. If Jesus can do that, I can let go and forgive too.
There are some situations where you may not be able to ask someone for forgiveness or be able to tell someone that you forgive them maybe due to death or it is not safe to be around that person. You can still forgive that person in your heart and let go of their offense so that you may heal. God knows the true intentions of our heart and He can provide healing. All of that being said, I have been working on giving forgiveness to the situations I have been holding on to. I have been realizing that I have been the one holding on to the offenses in these situations and I have been praying and covering them with forgiveness and asking forgiveness for holding on to the grudge so that I could play the victim for so long. God is good and gracious and He is showing me His forgiveness and bringing healing. I know that the healing will eventually lead to the joy I seek. God is good all of the time.