Have you ever held a grudge? Do you bring up past hurts with people when you get into an argument? Is there someone you have yet to forgive? Is that someone yourself? Is there someone or something from the past that still makes you angry every time you think about it? Do you find yourself getting upset about small things without knowing why?
We often try to justify unforgiveness and anger. We believe we have a right to unforgiveness and a right to be angry. And from a worldly point of view, we’d probably be right. But as Christ followers, we are called to live differently.
We have the ability to forgive, even when it doesn’t feel like it, because Christ first forgave us. He is our model to follow for walking in forgiveness. He who knew no sin, took our transgressions upon Himself, and took the punishment for our sin. For MY sin. For YOUR sin. He wiped our slate clean. And we are called to offer that same forgiveness to those around us.
Forgiveness can seem impossible when we merge forgetting with forgiveness. Forgiving someone, yourself, or a situation, doesn’t mean you forget what happened. Think about it- Jesus has forgiven us for all the things we’ve done, been through, or experienced. However, those experiences help us to relate to other people. We don’t forget what happened. We’ve been set free from our past, but our past offers us a unique opportunity to relate to other people. When people can relate to and understand our past pains, failings and unforgiveness, they see how we’re able to live a life fully alive in Christ today, and it gives them hope. It lets them know where they are isn’t the end.
It’s the same when you’re offering forgiveness to someone who may have hurt you. Even if that someone may have changed the trajectory of your entire life, you don’t have to forget, but Jesus does call you to forgive.
How is God calling you from unforgiveness and anger into forgiveness?
Author: Gracie Martin