I have heard it said that the one problem G-D chose not to solve himself is loneliness. He made us to need each other. G-D created us for relationship with him and with each other. Often this need for relationship and community is wonderful. Often it is also very painful and wrought with mistrust. What is central to a wholesome relationship with G-D, us, and others? The answer is understanding and exercising forgiveness. Why is forgiveness so important in human relationships? Healing and restoration of relationship begins with forgiveness.
I have heard it said that bitterness is when we drink poison hoping the other person dies. However bitterness doesn’t just appear one day. It is a process. The Word states that in the last days the love of many will grow cold. When we stop caring about how our actions affect others and allow apathy to set in we are in route for bitterness.
Offering a glass of Cold water is a sign of love both physically and metaphorically. Kindness takes place when ever we offer a smile, a kind word or a kind action. Forgiveness is a decision and an action. It is a process. I have to by faith take action and immediately forgive. I have to decide to forgive by faith the moment the offending action happens. However, that is not the end. I need to realize what the action cost me and be aware of the price that cost me. I must also be willing to forgive it every time I remember it. Otherwise, I will start to grow the root of bitterness.
Forgiveness sets me free from the hurt, anger, condemnation and guilt that offense against someone brings. It sets me free from the pendulum that swings and says, “Why did they do that to me? “And then “is it my fault?”
There are multiple things that forgiveness does but here are two.
First, it sets me free from the pain of the offense and it helps me keep the bitterness out of my soul.
Second, it releases people who have hurt us from the penalty of our displeasure and provides a clean slate.
Forgiveness provides people with what they need to move forward. I find it truly impossible to release something without letting go. Letting go is impossible if we don’t forgive, ourselves and others and G-D.
Forgiveness isn’t just saying “oh I forgive them and moving forward and denying that it hurt you, if it was a serious infraction.” Someone cutting you of in traffic is not the same as marital infidelity, but both need an immediate decision to forgive. Especially if you are guarding your heart, After all, Out of it flows the issues of life!
Many authors have good information on forgiveness. Steve Roll from retore ministries and R.T kendall have good info. My favorite book is the Bible. This is by no means a complete list. Ps. 86:5, Ps 130:4, Dan. 9:9, Ex. 34:17, Numbers 14:18, Acts 5:31, Eph 1:7, Jer. 31:34, Mark 11:25-26, 1 John 1:9.