Forgiving someone who has hurt us for most is one of the hardest things to do as believers. The Bible tells us, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you your heavenly father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your father will not forgive your sins” – Colossians 3:13.
Okay so the Scripture is pretty clear, we as believers are called to forgive others but that is easier said than done especially if you have been hurt over and over again by the same person. I think one of the hardest reasons it is to forgive someone is because we think by forgiving this person that we are saying what they did was right. Now some people we are called to forgive are easier than others but what if someone has wronged us to a life altering degree that has taken us years and years and we still have not recovered. What if someone has hurt our child in what we think is an unforgivable way. Are we still called to forgive? Just because we are forgiving someone does not mean we are saying what they did is right or that it was okay.
By forgiving someone it does not mean we have to act as if the sin against us never happened or that we have to invite this person back into our life. Forgiving someone means we are no longer holding that sin against them but some sins against us are hard to forget. We don’t have to live like that thing never happened to us. God is all knowing and God can heal us from the pain. God is our comfort and our healer. We don’t have to pretend we are not hurt but we bring that hurt before the Lord and he can heal us. We still need to forgive that person but not because we want to but because God has asked us to. God is not keep a record of our wrongs and holding sin against us or pointing a finger at us so we shouldn’t do that to others. The Lord can give us peace and help us forgive when it’s hard to especially when the person who sinned against you is not willing to change. We must cry out to God for the strength to be forgivers.
Sometimes as believers even though we know the truth, it can be hard to do the right thing. But it is important to remember that we are not alone. Recently I felt like I was in a number of situations were I had to choose between the right thing and the other way that seemed a little more appealing. I was in a situation where I had been invited to be a part of a Bible study with a friend and I told her that I would come. Afterwards another friend invited me to join her Bible study. The second one seemed like a better fit and more fun, but I had already told my first friend I joined hers. So the right thing to do was to let my yes be yes and stand by my word. I feel like a lot of situations in life are this way. If you say yes to something you’re saying no to something else. But it is important to choose the right thing even when something else looks better because nonbelievers are watching us at all times. If we say we are going to do something we should follow through and do it because we never know what the impact is going to be.
Sometimes doing the right thing is a lot harder than choosing who to hang out with. Sometimes doing the right thing is a lot of work and takes a lot of sacrifice. How do we know which one is the right choice? We listen to that small whisper of guidance from the Lord. Most of time I know in my gut what I’m supposed to do even if I don’t want to do it. I don’t think we will never know fully why the Lord is asking us to do certain things. We just have to hear and obey. We just have to know that we are not alone and that the Lord’s strength is with us. We just need to decide to do the right thing and the Lord will back us up and give us the strength to follow through.
I have struggled my whole life with being content. Even as a young child I remember being discontent. When I was in college I was talking to a mentor about this. I was telling her that I was really struggling with being content and always wanting to be somewhere else and doing something else. When I was in one group I wanted to be in another. When I had a job I wanted a different job. I was always looking at what others had and what I didn’t have. My mentor told me that she remembered reading a verse in the Bible that talked about a secret of being content.
I opened my Bible to Philippians 4:12 – “ I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I’ve learned the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well fed or hungry whether living in plenty or in want.”
That night I thought about this verse over and over and over again and pondered the secret of being content. Paul talks about how he learned to be content but I kept thinking how did he do it. What really is the secret? Then I looked in the study notes at the bottom of my NIV Study Bible and it said that the secret of being content is being one with God. So I thought about what that meant and I came to the conclusion that Paul was content no matter what because he knew where he stood with God. He knew his place in this life and that no matter what, God would never forsake him and that he would be okay. I’ve had to come to a place in my life and realize that I need to live with a heavenly focus. This earth is not my final destination and I will not be taking any of my material possessions with me to heaven. I need to live knowing that my purpose is not to build an earthly resume but is to proclaim the gospel and that petty things really don’t matter. No matter what the Lord has my back.