Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Do we understand that forgiving someone is a simple decision of our will? Better still is the fact that once done, once we forgive someone, it cannot be undone – no matter how upset we are or want to take it back. It’s done; a fait accompli!
Think of cracking open a raw egg. It is a decision of our will and once done it can’t be undone. No matter how we might want to take it back, we can’t put the egg back in the shell. Remember Humpty Dumpty, the egg that sat on the wall and had a great fall? “…All the King’s horses, and all the King’s men – couldn’t put Humpty together again.”
This is beyond good news – it’s great news! Unforgiveness is to be avoided like the plague. In yesterday’s devotional I wrote how it’s been described as a person putting arsenic in their own body to hurt someone else. Unforgiveness is avoided by forgiving – particularly by making the practice of forgiving others into a daily habit pattern.
But what if we don’t feel forgiving? And what about all the other ‘stuff’ that comes with situations where the need to forgive occurs? Stuff like anger, resentment, hurt, disappointment, frustration, desire to get even (to name a few) that readily accompany such situations. Fortunately forgiveness isn’t subject to us feeling like it.
If we are out walking and have an umbrella and suddenly it starts pouring, no matter what is going on, we immediately put up the umbrella – it’s second nature. It keeps us from getting wet! When hurts and disappointments come, immediately forgive – just like putting up an umbrella. It keeps unforgiveness away and allows God’s grace to have unrestricted flow to enable us to handle all the ‘stuff’ in the situation redemptively.
Immediately forgiving others enables us to get our focus off them and our own hurt. We shift our focus to the Lord. He is the one we turn to – to help us with all of the accompanying emotions and difficulties. If we recognize that our responses our sinful, we can confess that and receive forgiveness. He, and his grace and mercy are at the center of our response.
It’s amazing how readily forgiving those who hurt us enables us to pray redemptively for them. The healing process proceeds more freely. Our motivation can become one of glorifying the Lord in the situation. What a gift being able to readily forgive is!