Walking in Forgiveness
Last week, we looked at individuals who have been victims of unspeakable atrocities. Do you remember Eva Moses Kur? (She was one of the twins upon whom cruel experiments were performed by the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, who was called the Angel of Death,) Her bold proclamation: “Forgive your worst enemy. It will heal your soul. It will set you free.” On the CFS website, you can hear her statement PLUS the comment by another survivor who asked, “What right does she have to speak for the others.” Neither women is in Nazi custody today – but I ask you, which woman is truly free? When we refuse to let go of an offense, we – the victims- are the ones who continue to be controlled by the hurt.
How can we walk in His forgiveness, especially when the hurt was unjustified? We tend to think that the offender doesn’t deserve our forgiveness, much less God’s. In reality none of us deserves what Jesus did for us on the cross. Nonetheless, just before He died, He said “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!” Luke 23:34 KJV.
We need to ask the Lord to forgive the one who hurt us. We also need to ask Him to help us forgive – totally forgive – that person. I believe we all have experienced what happens when we do not totally forgive: the hurt becomes a festering wound in our soul. Allowing ourselves to revisit the hurt, conjures up the old emotions. We are in essence reopening the wound; we are picking at the scab of healing. Instead of the hurt’s being healed, it becomes infected. This infection tortures us and allows us to face demonic harassment. End result: we become very bitter and unhappy. The pain doesn’t stop there; it continues to impact our lives and future relationships.
When Satan tries remind us of the offense, stop him. Refuse to revisit the wound. Take control of your mind and emotions. Force yourself to think about His forgiveness; ways in which the Lord has forgiven you; pray for the other person – ask God to give you compassion and understanding for them. Jesus’ blood covers and heals. “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it,” Proverbs 4:23 NIV; “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control,” Proverbs 25:28, NIV.
Forgiveness is not an emotion. It is a decision. A decision that we make day by day – moment by moment. Until one day, the sting of the hurt is gone.