And forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Matthew 6, 12
Forgiveness is very, very hard for us. As I think about it, the things that always make me angry come to mind. Injustice! Revenge! – it cries out in me. It can’t go on like this! – and I start to fight back and fight in my mind again. I forget that I have forgiven. That was my decision, and Jesus helped me.
Gradually I realise that there are many, many people who almost died. Some by suicide, others by illness or accident. And all of them are looking for the culprit, and if no human being is guilty, then they blame fate, or rather: God. It was God who allowed it. HE does not love me. HE is punishing me.
Such are our thoughts.
When Jesus hung on the cross, HE was innocent. He hung there as a man, not as God. At any time He could have returned to His divine form, but He did not want to. He wanted the judgement of each of our sins, – the punishment for all the little and the big sins was to be His, so that we could be redeemed. HE would have had reason to say: Wrong! Vengeance! – but He did not open His mouth and did not lament. No, He prayed for the torturers, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!”
As Jesus did, so will I do: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do! – and Jesus helps me to forgive. And if I am angry with God because He has allowed something difficult to happen, then I want to forgive and accept God’s will. HE does not torment me for fun.
I want to forgive to protect my heart. Because non-forgiveness makes you bitter and leads to self-pity. Really, we become heart sick.
If we want a happy, grateful, have a content heart, we must forgive. Otherwise, wickedness will eat us up.
Lord, I forgive, although it is very, very hard for me! You have forgiven me and You have forgiven all those who have sinned, now I want to do the same. Please help me to do so! Thank You for bearing the punishment for my sin!