What she did to me repeatedly played in my mind resurfacing feelings of confusion, hurt, anger, and resentment. The position she placed me would serve much hardship and difficulty shattering what little trust I had in her. Both she and I knew that she was wrong. She never apologized but did make a feeble attempt to make amends.
A year passed since the life-altering incident. I told myself that I had forgiven her and moved on but my heart remained in locked chains as I struggled with the daily reminder of what happened. I wanted the pain to end but did I TRULY desire to forgive?
It’s an attribute that I find some Christians loving yet struggling with at the same time. We love and embrace the idea of being free and forgiven by others as we’re a fallen race in need of constant forgiveness. Forgiving, on the flip side of the coin, is a tricky matter altogether.
We often extend our forgiveness based on the damage done to us and our hearts.
In judging the severity, we get a sense of leverage and power. We expect the other person that did the damage to pay for what they did and feel horrible about it. While it feels great to lock them in our chains of wrath, we end up getting locked in with them as overtime our hearts become prisoners.
I’m discovering that holding on to the power and leverage I had over this individual didn’t serve me well as pain from the chains was greater. It was time that I TRULY break free and set her free as well. I couldn’t do it on my own as I tried and failed multiple times. I needed a key. Christ became that key.
Forgiveness in Christ is the key to unlocking and loosening the chains of pain giving freedom, healing, and peace in our hearts.
Jesus is the perfect example of forgiveness. He forgave in the smallest things, the more serious, and even the unforgivable. In the book of Luke, He forgave and asked for His Father to forgive those who hurt Him to death (Luke 23:24). These individuals who wanted to hurt and kill Him offered no apology and didn’t plan to.
His death on the cross was to cover and forgive ALL wrongs past, present, and future. Not just some sins based on the severity of what humanity did to Him. I know that I’ve done some pretty unforgivable things in my past that utterly crushed God’s heart. Yet, in His Love, I’m forgiven over and over. God’s untainted heart for me gave me a chance to live free.
In my decision to pursue more of Christ and extend forgiveness to the individual that hurt me, I noticed some changes. While my circumstances have not changed since the incident, my heart has slowly. Christ is working on my heart while teaching me the importance of forgiveness while reminding me that though hurt my hurt is real and should I see this her again, I am to be kind, tender-hearted, and to forgive her just as He forgave me (Eph. 4:32). In forgiving, I’m also learning to see more of the blessings in the hardness of the problem given. For me, it’s a process but God helps me.
Forgiving can be tough at times. Time, healing, and lots of Jesus can restore a broken and captive heart to one that’s free. However, we are to keep in mind that just as we are forgiven by Christ to live free, we also have a responsibility to forgive others as well. If we don’t, we become prisoners along with our offenders.
“But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matt. 6:15)
Who do you need to forgive in order to be set free?
Set yourself and others free by using the key of forgiveness in Christ to break the locked chains.