Why is it so hard to forgive someone of their faults?
Forget the petty little wrongdoings or small bad habits and faults. Instead, consider the person who beats down the very wall that was providing you shelter – crumbling life as you knew it. Or, the person who causes pain, heartache, and strife for someone you love. Or, the one who takes someone’s life based on one stupid decision.
Big mistakes impact the lives of so many, whether directly or indirectly.
We know that we need to love without conditions. And, we know that we each have faults that make us less than perfect.
We also know that God forgives – if we seek him – and that is ultimately what matters to that imperfect individual, right? Not my opinion or my feelings. And not yours, either.
Yet, when trust is broken or you feel wronged, it is hard to push back with unconditional love and forgiveness, despite the fact that we know we should.
Why is that?
We are human. You, me, all of us. We know what we should do. We know what we need to do. We know what God expects of us.
Ready for the truth?
Forgiveness is an action. It is a choice. You can choose to forgive someone or you can choose not to. You can choose to look at the person with love and joy or you can choose to look at that person with pity, anger, and contempt.
Jesus loved sinners. He loved those with faults and those who had made bad choices. He hung out with them. He ate with them. He forgave them.
We should, too. We should push aside all that we feel toward someone who we believe has done wrong — and forgive them.
Philippians 3:13-15 gives some great advice… and the way The Message translation says it, makes it easy to understand:
12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
15-16 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.
When you are struggling with forgiveness, turn to God and allow him to help you see clearly. He will help you look past the wrongs to everything that is good, whole, and right.
Love one another. Accept one another. And still, forgive.