I have many flaws, but typically a lack of forgiveness is not one of them. In fact, it takes a lot to get me irritated,and even more to make me angry. Then, I get over things incredibly fast. This makes my current struggle even more difficult.
This is why I have been feeling stuck, and confused since I admitted to myself that I am holding resentment and holding back forgiveness for someone. How do you forgive someone you fundamentally don’t trust? How do you forgive someone you don’t want to forgive?
Two different questions. First, I have to separate the emotions in the first questions. Forgiveness is not tied to trust. I have to forgive, but I don’t have to trust. Second, I have to get over the idea that my pain is more important; the other person’s sin somehow too bad for easy forgiveness.
Who am I to decide who deserves forgiveness and who does not? God has forgiven me over and over again. He will forgive all my future transgressions.
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. – Colossians 3:13
So, who am I to deny someone else my forgiveness? Who am I in all of my sinful nature to judge someone else’s action?
Trust I do not have to give. Forgiveness I do. It’s not easy. I know everything I just said – that still doesn’t mean I want to. So, how do you forgive someone you fundamentally don’t trust? How do you forgive someone you don’t want to forgive?
A whole lot of prayer and humility. And some quiet reflection on the following…
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. – Matthew 6:14-15
Where is another God like you,
who pardons the guilt of the remnant,
overlooking the sins of his special people?
You will not stay angry with your people forever,
because you delight in showing unfailing love.
Once again you will have compassion on us.
You will trample our sins under your feet
and throw them into the depths of the ocean!
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:31-32
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” – John 8:7