Today is Day 16 of 40/40. One of the scriptures for reflection was Matthew 6:9-15. It’s the Lord’s Prayer, but the passage also includes the 2 verses (14 and 15) after the prayer. Those are the ones that stood out to me the most today.
For if you forgive people their wrongdoing, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing.
Ouch. Talk about hitting home. I read somewhere recently that true forgiveness isn’t something you do once and then just forget about it. There’s no such thing as “forgive and forget.” But true forgiveness is when, once you start thinking about how someone hurt you or wronged you, you actively say something to the effect of “I have forgiven that, and put it behind me. I am not going to dwell on something that has happened that I can’t change. I’m not going to let it control me.”
I’ve had to do that a lot recently.
It’s often easier to forgive a friend or a family member that hurt you unintentionally, but it’s a lot harder to do when it involves someone whom you aren’t in a close relationship with and who intentionally hurt you in an effort to gain personally. But I am commanded to do that, as much as I would rather tell them off and let the whole world know how I have been wronged. As much as – deep down – I want to hurt them as much as they have hurt me. But I am not going to give them that much power over me. I am not going to let their treatment of me be a stumbling block in my relationship with God. I will forgive when I think about how I was treated – even if they never ask for it (which they most likely won’t) – even if I have to do it 490+ times (which I most definitely will). I just need to focus on my attitude and my relationship with God, and let Him take care of theirs.