What is that thing someone will do to you that forgiveness will be hard? Steal from you? Kill a loved one? Lie to you? Lie against you? Yours may not be on the list but the truth is, we all have that one thing that will be very hard to forgive.
But then, as bible-believing believers, are we allowed to hold on to an offence because it is difficult to let go? Nope! Jesus commanded that we forgive without reservation. He didn’t say we should forgive some certain offences and hold on to some.
Even though we have been redeemed, transformed and sanctified, we still get offended from time to time. While some offences are so easy to let go, some others may be very hard to get over.
So what should a believer do when forgiveness is hard?
This is the first, perhaps, the most important step to forgiveness. The popular saying, ‘time heals all wound’ is not true if a person is not ready to get healed. Don’t just wait for time to work some magic or leave it to a game of luck, you need to make a conscious decision to forgive and let go.
After you’ve decided you want to let go, then follow the next step
In Matt 5: 44, Jesus said, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” The best way to easily forgive an offender no matter the hurt or offence is to pray for him. When I said pray, I don’t mean some whispers, I don’t mean some mindless good thoughts towards them, I don’t mean pray for long hours. I mean, pray for them with the same passion, devotion and energy you use to pray for yourself.
It is impossible to be bitter against someone you are praying passionately for. Jesus said pray for your enemies, I believe someone who lied to you is better off than your enemies.
Praying for someone that hurt you deeply is tough, it will require effort, it may take some tears and groans, but it will free you from the burden of carrying bitterness and offences you can do without.
Is there someone you are holding captive in your heart? Why don’t you give yourself the gift of forgiveness? Get down on your knee (or whatever posture works for you) and start praying for the person. You will be surprised at how free you will become.
Do you know why one person is angry at something and another person ignore? Perspective. Do you know why you easily forgive when you are in a good mood but you get easily infuriated when your mood is down? Perspective. ‘How can she do that to me? The question is how can’t she? Is she not human? Some years ago, I realized God never commanded us to put our trust in another man, no one is that reliable, not even you.
Another way to look at it is to consider the many times you have made mistakes too. One way or another, you have offended someone, hurt another person deeply but you received forgiveness, so why on earth won’t you forgive others, who like you are not perfect too?