Day 43: Forgiveness

Happy Friday and Day 43 of Another 100 Days of Hannah, y’all!
But, let’s be real, mainly Happy Friday.
Anyone else excited that we’ve almost survived another week of 2021?
Hopefully y’all are still here mostly intact.
In any case, since I’m a couple minutes late getting started this morning (hello distractions! I should really know never to sit down to eat breakfast on a work morning…), I guess I’ll dive right in.
So… forgiveness is something that’s really been on my heart for the last several days, so I guess we’re gonna talk about it here.
Forgiveness – like true forgiveness, not just brushing the problem off in the moment and trying not to feel anything – is hard.
Like really hard.
I, like probably everyone ever, have been hurt pretty deeply by people in my life, and, if I’m honest, a lot of my personality has been formed from those hurts.
I’ve learned that it’s not okay to be messy.
I’ve learned that it’s not safe to be vulnerable.
I’ve learned that people leave when there’s conflict.
I’ve learned that my voice is unimportant.
I’ve learned that emotions are bad.
And on and on and on.
And so I’ve done my best to not be messy.
I’ve put up walls to try to keep people from getting in deep enough to hurt me again.
I’ve tried to keep the peace and mitigate conflicts.
I’ve learned to stay silent.
I’ve learned to hide my emotions.
And what’s more, I’ve held onto anger and bitterness towards the people who have hurt me.
This week as I’ve worked through processing my anger (thanks, therapy!) though, I’ve been reminded several times and in multiple ways, of the Father’s call to forgiveness.
As such, two days ago, I listened to an episode from one of my favorite podcasts on the topic.  Admittedly, I’d listened to it before, but in light of my underlying anger, many of the words spoken struck a different chord, and while I could share the whole transcript of the episode with you, I’d like to highlight a few powerful points.
  1. Anger stems out of a belief that someone owes you something.  When we forgive, we choose to release the person from the need to payback for whatever we feel that they owe us.
  2. Forgiveness is a heart matter.  Sometimes you will be guided to bring it to the other person, but more often than not, it’s simply in your heart, between you and God.
  3. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you’ll feel better.  In fact, more often than not, you probably won’t.  That’s because forgiveness isn’t a feeling.  Forgiveness is a choice.
  4. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that everything goes back to “normal” or “perfect” or whatever it was before.  No, you’ve still been hurt. Damage has still been done, and that damage may take years to repair (if it’s ever repaired at all). Rather, forgiveness simply releases your hold on anger and bitterness towards the person.
  5. Forgiveness is a process.  You can forgive today, and still have something related to the situation come up tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year, sparking anger all over again.  That’s okay.  In fact, it’s normal.  When this happens, bring it to God.  Show Him your heart.  And choose to forgive again.

Now, obviously, these are hard to walk out.

Especially when you’ve been hurt deeply.
And you feel like the other person doesn’t deserve forgiveness.
Because maybe their action was intentional.
Or maybe they’re not sorry for what they’ve done.
Or maybe the hurt was just too deep.
I know.
I get it.
But, friends, forgiveness has never been about the other person.
Forgiveness is about what Christ has done for you.
In both Ephesians 4 and Colossians 3, we are called to forgive just as Christ has forgiven us.
In Romans 5:8, we are reminded that: while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
While we were yet sinners.
Before we knew we had done wrong.
Before we sought forgiveness.
Before we repented.
He. Gave. His. Life.
And forgave us.
And carried our sins away from us – as far as the East is from the West (Ps 103:12).
And called us righteous.
And brought us into His family.

And so we are called to do for all those around us.
‘Til tomorrow,
Want to read more?  Here’s a link to my Day 43 post from 100 Days of Hannah.  Click the link to check it out!
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