Have you noticed that forgiveness is something that we find difficult to cope with? This can be from two points of view.
We find it very difficult to forgive someone who has done wrong to us. But we also find it difficult to accept forgiveness from someone who we have wronged.
We look for the reasons and for the ulterior motives of the person who seems to be offering forgiveness, or we sometimes feel that we don’t need forgiveness because it wasn’t our fault that ‘they’ were upset in the first place!
Our human nature finds it very difficult to forgive other people and the greater the hurt we have received; the harder it is to forgive those who have caused the wounds.
Sadly, there are many true stories of families whose members have fallen out because they have hurt each other, having fallen out, they do not speak to each other again. Often this attitude prevails until one of the ‘injured parties’ dies.
Tragically, remorse sets in with the remaining family member, but it is all too late. There is no way that the rifts can be healed.
The result of this is often a mix of bitterness and regret that is carried to the grave. All the other family members look on, but there is nothing that they can do, except ensure that they don’t get embroiled in this web of despair. Unfortunately, some of them do.
Forgiveness avoids bitterness. Forgiveness brings freedom.
The Lord’s Prayer tells us to pray “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those that sin against us”. The implications of this are clear. If we do not forgive those who sin against us, then we cannot expect others to forgive our sins.
Please take time to get rid of any bitterness you are carrying and go and forgive the ones who have caused the hurt. Bitterness is like a cancer. It grows and grows until it kills.