Jesus preached forgiveness over and over, and I think it’s no coincidence its mentioned so much in the Gospels. Forgiveness is hard, and Jesus knew that. But why should we bother to forgive those who hurt us? Forgiving them will make it seem like what that person did wasn’t wrong, or that my own hurt didn’t happen! That’s not fair, or just!
Of course it’s hard to forgive when we’re angry, or when we’ve been hurt. Of course it’s hard to forgive someone who has betrayed our trust multiple times. Of course it’s hard to forgive when we still don’t see justice being served, or wrongs being made right.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard from a priest was this: If you’re struggling to forgive someone in your life, say this simple prayer, “God, I forgive ___. Please heal my heart.” Even if you don’t feel it, even if you’re not ready to forgive this person, say it over and over until God’s grace enters your heart and He helps you to forgive. This prayer really does work, and I’ve said it hundreds of times before.
It’s important to learn to forgive others not because they deserve it (though I’m sure they might), but because you deserve to have peace. A wise man once said “holding a grudge is like holding a hot ember and thinking the other person will get burned.” It causes your own heart more pain to hold on to the bitterness, the hurt, and the anger, and it doubles the injuries from the initial wrongdoing. Let God remove that from your heart. Let God remove the burden from your shoulders. Let God help you to forgive, and have real peace.
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Sin. Doesn’t seem like an exciting topic for a podcast, but there’s some great news here as we continue with Part 3 of our series on the Good News. Join us on our journey as we strive to be saints.
It’s important we understand sin because it helps us understand ourselves and what God is saving us from.