Updated: Sep 11, 2020
Question: Do I have to forgive those who make me suffer, even if they never come to ask for forgiveness?
Answer: On our social media accounts, the phrase that generated the most comments and strongest reactions was the following: "Love does not grow without forgiveness."
Without a doubt, it is difficult to forgive! It’s so unfair. It’s mankind's dearest gift. God gave His Son as a sacrifice on the cross in our place so we could be forgiven but also so we could forgive! It is only by the power of God that we can forgive all of the mistakes and sins of others.
We forgive the one who has offended us not because he deserves it, but because we want our relationship with our Heavenly Father to be free from all hindrances.
Matthew 6:15 says: "But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
Forgiveness is a very serious topic in the eyes of God. Forgiveness is granted to our offenders for God and for ourselves. It is a way to bring to Jesus, all that makes you suffer, all the reasons for anger, and all that causes offense, and He enables you to let go of it all,
It is not for the offender that we offer forgiveness, but it is to be freed and delivered from pain.
This makes all the difference because it means we do not need to wait to forgive until our offender realizes how badly they hurt us, or comes to ask our forgiveness.
Our healing does not depend on this person but on the healing work of the Holy Spirit through forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a process. We need to take the time to look at the pain and the horror of the offense, describe it, and, with God’s help, choose to forgive. Then, it is time to talk to God: "Lord, I choose to forgive in order to be at peace with you!" The hardest part comes after this. We must reflect on what needs to change in our lives now that we have chosen to forgive and to speak words of blessing over the person who offended us. All of this enables us to live free from suffering!
In summary, to forgive is to:
... put distance between the offender and yourself.
... stop taking in small doses of poison and hope that the other dies.
... no longer carrying around an open wound in your heart.
... heal, for yourself.
... choose life.
We believe it is important to forgive so that we can heal. We encourage you to find someone locally to talk to and with whom you can pray. We believe that someone physically present and able to hear you will be able to help you in this process. If you feel the need, you can seek help from a professional counselor at Focus on the Family where you will find qualified Christian therapists.
We are praying for you! May God help you forgive and come and heal your heart.
Eric and Rachel's team