5 Reasons We Should Forgive The Person We Can’t
I feel like there are too many reasons to avoid this question. The likes of which hold us back from actually answering it. Forgiveness or to forgive is like a book bag filled with textbooks. (bare with me) Each text book signifying something someone did wrong to you, or something someone said to you. As you go through the hallways of life you take on more and more textbooks and store them in your bag, eventually making you look like that dorky kid in high school who would pack up his whole locker at the end of the day because “It never hurts to go over all of your notes.”.
Even though studying isn’t the same thing as not forgiving someone, the illustration stands. The ability to forgive someone leaves you free and agile in life. While the inability to forgive, leaves you feeling wrapped up in turmoil and aggression. Think about it.
Step 1. Someone offends you.
Step 2. You sit in that offense.
Step 3. You develop a grudge and don’t want to confront that person.
Step 4. The frustration inside you grows as you await the confrontation.
Step 5. When you see the person you either lash out or passive aggressively act.
If you haven’t seen the person yet, odds are you will snap at the wrong person and your day will be ruined. Am I right about this? Well I still haven’t answered the question. Why should I forgive them?
We Have No Right To Be Mad
Thats right! Seems unreasonable, but think about the last time you did something wrong. How did you feel about it? Was there mercy or grace given to you? If there wasn’t then I’m sure you would have wanted some, if there was then hopefully you would want that person to feel that same thing. The point is, if we all got what we deserved, the world would be a cruel place. It is not a matter of being a bigger person, it is a matter of simply being a person. Understanding that we all fall short.
God is not an angry God. When we mess up, He looks down on us and sees the sacrifice of His son Jesus. Jesus paid the price for our mistakes. So we have no right to make someone else pay the price for theirs. We don’t have the privilege of taking vengeance into our own hands.
It is Good For You, Not For Them
Saying I forgive you for this terrible or traumatic thing is not letting them off the hook. So many times I’ve seen people struggle with forgiveness because they feel like they are saying what the person did is okay. Or it was permissable. This is soooooo not the case. When you forgive, you are saying it is okay for me to move on. It is okay for me to relent control of the anger I held all this time and let God take the rightful place of judge.
It’s Good For Your Health
When I forgive, I’ll start to notice i’m more peaceful. Things don’t bother me as much. The more people that I forgive, the less things get under my skin. Mostly because I’m not walking around with all of those grudges. That bitterness that stores up when you don’t forgive people can start to deteriorate your health. It can cause you to feel like you’re constantly stressed out. Constantly weak or overworked. You can feel like you’ve been going through so much more than you really are, but thats mostly because you have all of this anger stored up towards people you haven’t seen in forever!
It’s Not Really Their Fault
Here is the kicker! It’s not really their fault! Scripture teaches us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. This means that people themselves aren’t evil or malicious. It is the things in this world that cause them to act out in certain ways.
I’m not saying people are possessed or anything, I’m illustrating a point of influence. When there is so much influential anger in this world, of course there will be angry people. When there is so much influential promiscuity in this world, of course there will be promiscuous people. It is not peoples fault. People are a product of their surroundings, a product of their environment and most of all, a product of their surrounding mentalities.
When someone does something to you, ask yourself where they learned that from. Who around them is similar, I guarantee you will find an answer.
When you learn to identify with peoples perspectives, forgiveness will become enormously easier.
We’re Not God
Holding on to unforgiveness is holding on to yourself as God of your life. It is telling God that He is not wanted in this area. It can be almost heartbreaking to forgive someone because of the magnitude of hurt that has been done. I totally understand that. However, the prideful practice of avoiding it tells God that He is not allowed to forgive this person because you are not ready to do so.
This is harsh, let me ease up. When I first realized who I needed to forgive, It was almost impossible. Mostly because I barely wanted to talk to the person. Let alone forgive them. But as I allowed myself to let go of the hurt that had happened, I realized that all that I was doing was “drinking rat poison and expecting the rat to die”. I was feeding myself bitterness and watching them as God worked on their lives. Wallowing in my own self pity as God continued to be God. But I was holding back my own blessings, refusing to let God into my life. All because I didn’t want to drop my hurt. All because I didn’t want to accept the reality that someone else was allowed to swim in the ocean of Gods grace that I had spent countless time in before.
What do you think? Should we always forgive? What are the stipulations?