We teach our children to say “I forgive you” and we teach them what it means to forgive. We model forgiveness ourselves when our kids come to us and say “I’m sorry” for breaking the bowl or for losing their temper with their sister. We model forgiveness when a neighbour apologizes for their dog making a mess in our yard. We model forgiveness when it’s easy…
But what about when forgiveness is hard? What about the times when you are practically choking on the words? When it’s not spilled juice or harsh words but when it’s betrayal or someone hurting your kids or someone you love, forgiveness takes work.
Forgiveness can hurt before it heals. Forgiveness can be a long process and one that rips as it mends.
When you are still experiencing the hurt from the person who wronged you or when the wrongs are continuing, forgiveness can feel impossible. There is only one place to go to when you are in this place…to the place where all forgiveness began. To the foot of the cross.
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” ~ Isaiah 1:18
And after all that we have been forgiven for, all that we continue daily to be forgiven for, we are called to forgive.
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” ~ Matthew 6:14-15
It’s not easy and sometimes it takes forgiving daily, again and again. The forgiveness we give, we do for ourselves and for our children, so that they will not live with a parent who has bitterness growing in their heart, choking out love and making it hard to find joy. We forgive so that love can replace the anger. We forgive so that we can move forward. We forgive so that we can begin to see the light once again and find the freedom that God’s forgiveness has given to us. We forgive. And hopefully someday, we heal.