You want to settle the score.
You want to make the person, or people, who did the damage hurt as much as you’re hurting.
You’ve created your own prison.
If you knew a road was going to take you off a cliff, you wouldn’t stay on it, right?
You’d take a detour. You’d change directions. You’d set a new course.
Forgiveness is the detour that keeps you from taking the same road to regret over and over again. It gives you the ability to let go of yesterday and get on the right path.
Forgiveness is a choice.
The Word of God paints a picture of who you are, what you have, and what you can do. And the Word of God calls you out of regret, fear, worry, and unresolved hurts.
You still have to make the choice each and every single day to walk it out, but it will get easier as you program your heart and renew your mind to God’s Word.
God’s nature is to forgive. Human nature is to get even.
All too often, when we get hurt, we see ourselves as victims. We feel upset, confused, angry, discouraged, and maybe even depressed or suicidal. We go through extremes of sulking or thinking of how we can pay the offender backs—hurt them like they hurt us. We picture the person and rehearse what they did to us and how we can get even.
And if we’re upset with ourselves, we may try to get even by harming ourselves. That’s the root of many addictions, cutting behaviors, and why people sabotage relationships with others or their own successes.
So how can you settle the score?
Picture yourself standing face-to-face with the person who wounded you, rejected you, stole from you, or hurt you.
Now, picture what you’d like to do to get even.
Yep. Go there for a minute.
Now, just as you are ready to yell at them, slap them, shoot them, reject them, cut them down with your words, or whatever it is you want to do…
Imagine Jesus stepping in front of you, standing between you and the person who has caused you so much pain. Looking into your eyes, He says compassionately to you, “Whatever you want to do to them, do to Me instead. Unleash your hurt on Me. I paid for their sins, their offenses, and their mistakes, just as I paid for yours. What do you want to do to Me to get even with them for their offenses against you?”
Because you’re not going to inflict pain or nasty words on Jesus, are you?
So then He says, “Forgive them as I have forgiven you. Turn them over to Me. Trust Me with this pain and hurt. Only I can be trusted to justify and judge. No man or woman has the righteous standing to make either decision. On the scales of justice, all men and women are guilty. My sacrifice is sufficient for you both.”
My friend, drop your weapons.
Release your pain and say, “Father, forgive them. I forgive them.”
Saying you forgive someone may be the easy part. How do you actually move on after forgiving?
How do you forget?
Watch for part three of this post next week!