Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Forgiveness is a dying art. It seems like the world in general never forgives and will hold a grudge against anyone or everyone that they feel that has wronged them, or anyone else, for that matter, and will never forget what has been done, said, or otherwise in a person’s life or past. Now, I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be consequences to the actions of a person or the words that they speak. There has to be accountability for our words and actions, but there must also be a spirit of forgiveness that allows you and I to be clean of the burden of bearing the wrongs that have been done to us! Forgiveness is as much about how WE handle a situation as it is about those who have wronged us, maybe even more.
Some people will never ask for forgiveness, and if they don’t, we must be willing to forgive them anyway. We are all human, and are prone to making mistakes and hurting others, both by our words and actions. Sometimes we hurt others and do not realize that we have offended someone, and we go about our daily lives as if everything is normal, but those who we’ve hurt avoid us and at some point we realize that we are being avoided and begin to wonder what happened! I know that I’m not the only one that this has happened to, and I’m not the only one that has ever avoided someone else because of a perceived slight!
There is something so freeing about forgiving someone else, even if they don’t recognize that they were hurtful, or even if they don’t care that they were hurtful. Forgiveness releases us from the burden of anger, hurt, bitterness and resentment, and it allows us to care for others! It is easy to care about those that we love, and easy to forgive those who ask for our pardon, but much more difficult when people hate us or care not one whit about how they have hurt us or what we think or how we feel about it. Those are the challenging times, when we MUST go beyond our humanity, and ask God for strength to be able to forgive, even when it hurts and when we think that things will never change! If we want forgiveness, we must show forgiveness! Consider the following: Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them... These were the words of Jesus Christ, who knew that his closest disciples were going to abandon him (Matthew 26:56) and that his disciple Judas was going to be the one to betray him!
As I said, if we want forgiveness, we must forgive! Jesus said in Mark 11:25-26: 25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. We must practice the art of forgiveness if we want to obtain forgiveness for ourselves! There will never be a time when we will have no need of forgiveness. Most of us need it daily, and those who don’t, I’ll let you figure out who they are! Forgiveness is freeing, so practice it today!