On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your ability to forgive someone who’s wronged you? The lower end of the scale represents, “Forgive? Seriously? He/she doesn’t deserve forgiveness!” The upper end represents, “Forgive? Sure, no problem. ”
I fall somewhere in the middle. The more hurtful the offense, the more I wrestle with extending forgiveness. I know it’s the right thing to do, but a battle rages within. It sounds something like this:
“Grace—forgive your offender as Christ has forgiven you.”
“I’m trying, but forgiving that person would be much easier if she’d apologize for what she’s done.”
“Forgiveness isn’t conditional. You need to offer it whether or not she ever acknowledges the pain she’s caused. ”
“I know that, too, but I still want her to be sorry for what she’s done.”
“She might never reach that point. Forgive her for freedom’s sake—your own freedom, that is.”
And so the conversation goes. Perhaps you can relate. Thankfully the Holy Spirit nudges me closer to the upper end of the scale as I process what’s happened and how to respond in a God-honoring way.
Forgiving someone who hurts us is vital to our spiritual, emotional, mental, and even our physical well-being, but let’s face it: It’s really difficult sometimes. Thankfully God’s power at work within us enables us to do what’s right. So does recalling biblical truth. Here’s one biblical truth that’s a key, I find, to forgiving those who hurt us: God holds our offender accountable for what he/she has done. “But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve” (Jeremiah 17:10).
God is not blind. He sees when someone wrongs His children—even in secret—and He will call the offender to accountability. Sometimes that happens immediately, sometimes not. The timing is up to Him. Trusting that He’ll keep His word in that regard enables us to release the offender into His hands.
But this truth has a second facet to it: Just as God will hold our offender accountable, so He will hold us accountable for our response to being wronged. Will we harbor a grudge or a victim mentality, seek revenge, or extend forgivenesss regardless of the offender’s attitude? The choice is ours.
Knowing that God will hold my offender accountable gives me the freedom to forgive. Knowing that He will hold me accountable for my response gives me incentive to choose well.
Where do you fall on the scale? How will these thoughts about accountability encourage you to forgive even when it’s difficult?
#HowCanIForgive? #bgbg2 #devotions