Learning to forgive is not always easy, but it is necessary for our growth and maturity as believers in Jesus of Nazareth.
Personally, I am learning to forgive the thieves who have taken advantage of my parents. These individuals have stolen money, occupied my parents home without our consent, and smoked drugs on their property. I am also learning to forgive a male occupant in our own building who has intimidated two female tenants over the last several weeks.
Forgiveness is a learned art that requires much patience, continued practice, and ongoing encouragement. You need to learn from Jesus how to be patient, as He shows you how to forgive, not just once, but as many times as needed. The more often you forgive, the less often you will seek revenge, and maintain hatred in your heart for your offender.
Showing forgiveness takes practice, for it doesn’t come easy when someone sins against you. You may choose to forgive, but sometimes its hard to let go of the offense. You can hold onto feelings of anger, fear, and be emotionally upset over what has happened. So, it takes practice to learn how to forgive and to give Jesus the opportunity to heal your wounds.
You also need be encouraged to do what is helpful for you. Maybe you need to speak with a trusted friend about what has upset you? Sharing your feelings is a great way to relieve the hostility inside of your heart and to bring you some resolution. It gives you the opportunity to be heard, and to gain some perspective about how to move forward.
Help us to learn how to forgive. You have forgiven us of our sins, and you encourage us to forgive others so that we can continue to walk freely in your forgiveness.
Bring healing to our pain, where others have severely hurt us. Comfort us in our sorrow, and set us free from those who have abused us.
Give us the patience to learn from you, the willingness to try again, and the encouragement to trust you in the depths of your forgiveness.
May we receive your love so that we can reveal your grace, and extend your mercy to everyone we need to forgive. Amen.