And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? Genesis 50:19
We often talk about how simple forgiveness is. But anyone who has been wounded knows that the place where our feelings enter and meet with the technicalities of theology…well, that’s where things get hairy.
I know that I forgive because Jesus forgave me and died for my sin. His resurrection proves that the Holy Spirit’s presence in my heart is enough to help me let go. On paper, it’s so stinking easy. Oh, but the part where the rubber meets the road, all I see is road kill that looks an awful lot like my heart. Have you been there? I’m sure you have. Sometimes you email me and tell me about it, which is always an honor. The carnage is made out of your feelings, your hopes, and your dreams. We can think we have finished forgiving only to have the wrong be rubbed in our faces the next morning on Facebook or in the foyer at church.
Sometimes the waves we have to wade through aren’t unforgiveness as much as trauma. No all wrong affects us the same. If they tap into childhood abandonment or abuse, forgiveness is clouded. Old memories and feelings attach themselves to the pain like cat hair to a polyester sweater.
My husband made the observation that I have often had a difficult time forgiving even though I choose to wrestle with it out of love and obedience to Jesus. He thinks it is because our Christian culture can usher commands to forgive ~ like it’s something instantaneous. They don’t endorse letting it happen organically. My husband, Todd, has a good point. We can make the mistake of trying to forgive while bypassing certain steps, ignoring the messy beginnings. We have to be willing to dive into every part of it. God will take care of the rest.
Today, I endeavor yet again to plant both feet on that road of forgiveness. It is a daily decision and it is a lifestyle. My passage might not end until Heaven but, until then, I will choose to obey.
Heavenly Father, Forgive me for not being quicker to present to you all of the ugliness of times when I’ve been hurt. I know you forgave me first, swimming in the depths of my sin on the cross. Give me the strength to not get ahead of myself because the process is so hard. In Jesus Name, Amen
What has been the most difficult thing for you to forgive?
What have you been taught about forgiveness throughout your life?
Is it accurate?