Forgiveness has never really been a struggle for me.
I easily forgive and forget and don’t hold grudges. Some might argue too easily, like, I don’t actually work through the process of forgiveness and instead just forget and block myself from thinking about the bad, sad, or hurtful things.
This strategy recently stopped working for me. Forgetting those hurtful things became impossible because they kept happening. And they kept hurting. Hurting bad.
How do I forgive then? Or if I do forgive, how do I trust it won’t happen yet again?
These questions were constantly popping in my mind, randomly at work, in the middle of the night, on a run. I couldn’t quiet those questions until I read this chapter in Fervent. I discovered that it isn’t my job to answer those questions. It is my job to treat others the way Jesus does and did and that includes a huge dose of grace. Of support. Of compassion. Of forgiveness.
Wallowing in my hurt is exactly the opposite of productive and exactly what Satan wants me to do. Instead, I give those questions to God and let Him deal with it. After all, He is obviously more qualified than me on the topic.
This process wasn’t easy and sometimes still isn’t easy or natural. However, I know that it must be done.
Here is an example of a prayer I wrote on the topic:
(P): Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for Jesus and your grace and peace that passes understanding.
(R): Forgive me for not fully forgiving. For thanking that anger and bitterness are the best way to deal with a problem. Forgive me for letting Satan use this as a foothold in my life and my family’s lives. For letting it simmer until it boils over and I lose it.
(A): I don’t want to lose it. Let me forgive. I am giving this to you. I need you.
(Y): I know that if someones sins against me seven times a day and returns to me saying “I repent” I need to forgive.*
Teach me to be like Jesus. It is through him I pray.