The thing is, that the grace that I need to extend to others doesn't even really have to do with me personally. It is for actions taken, words spoken, etc. that were actually spoken toward someone(s) that I care deeply for. Indeed, the final outcome affected MANY (including myself and my family) but I wonder, who do I think I am not to be able to get past it?
I can say that I forgive but I continue to go back to the wrongs that were done. So...is that true forgiveness? Is forgiveness a choice or is it a feeling? If I say I've forgiven, yet the hurt hasn't been healed, where do I go from here? What if I even wish these people all God's best in the future? Can I be real again and say that the fact that I do so is simply because I want GLORY for HIM (and not them)? Can we, in the flesh, forgive and forget or are we even expected to? I think that the answer to this lies in Colossians 3:13: Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
As I was typing this post and took a break from it, I found the following information about forgiveness. I guess if I weren't being so REAL today, I could've gone back and removed the first part of my post and just pretended that I had it all figured out on my own but that wouldn't be so. Thanks be to Him for answering so many of my self-imposed questions and for doing a work in me that I can not do on my own. Please let me share what He has shown me today.
- We forgive by faith, out of obedience. Since forgiveness goes against our nature, we must forgive by faith, whether we feel like it or not. We must trust God to do the work in us that needs to be done so that the forgiveness will be complete.
- I (the writer) believe that God honors our commitment to obey Him and our desire to please him when we choose to forgive. He completes the work in his time. We must continue to forgive (our job) by faith, until the work of forgiveness (the Lord's job), is done in our hearts.
- Corrie Ten Boom once said, "To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and to realize the prisoner was you."
- We will know the work of forgiveness is complete when we experience the freedom that comes as a result. We are the ones who suffer most when we choose not to forgive. When we do forgive, the Lord sets our hearts free from the bitterness, anger, resentment and hurt that previously imprisoned us. Most times, however, forgiveness is a slow process.
I guess I have a long way to go.