Recently, I was speaking about the power of forgiveness at a meeting and there a young woman two or three rows from the front. I could tell that she had something on her mind. She seemed a bit anxious.
Apparently, she didn’t want to interrupt or draw attention to herself. But I could sense that she was struggling very hard to ignore the urge to ask a question.
Finally she gave in, and with a raised hand, she asked, “but what if they are not sorry for what they did?” I thanked her for the question and assured her that I would address the question in the next session. However, I took some time to counsel with her after the meeting because she was obviously looking for an answer to deal with a pressing need.
The following is a summary of what I told her and later shared with the group:
Forgiving someone who doesn’t see the need to ask for forgiveness or show any sign that they are sorry for what they’ve done wrong is very difficult. As long as you keep the focus on the offender and the offense, you are never going to get over it. Consequently, they will continue to hurt you no matter what.
Forgiveness is not about the one who hurt you – it’s about you. It’s about how you deal with the situation. It’s about you choosing to live without that hurt for the rest of your life. It’s about you finding the freedom you deserve. They may not deserve your forgiveness, but you deserve better.
Therefore, it is better to forgive than to descend into bitterness and have ones entire life affected by that choice. You cannot afford to give anyone that kind of power over you, your well-being and your future. By the way, revenge doesn’t help the situation, it makes it worse.
It frees you
There is freedom in forgiveness but bondage in un-forgiveness. You set yourself free by setting others free. Through forgiveness, you are able to love and trust again.
It stops them from affecting the rest of your life
What you are doing through un-forgiveness is giving a person the power to continue hurting you. Forgiveness breaks that power. It allow to step out of their grip and into that of a loving God.
It speaks volumes of your strength, character and faith
Some things are meant to break and destroy you. But you are stronger than you think. You can do all things through Him who gives you the strength.
It keeps your heart where God wants it
God wants you to know He will fight for, that He will bring you justice. So you need to leave room in your heart for Him to deal with the situation.
It slams the door in Satan’s face
Do everything in your power to never open the door to Satan. Trust me, if you give him a foothold into your life through un-forgiveness, he will take full advantage of it.
It brings glory to God
When we obey The Lord in the most difficult times in our lives, we bring immense joy and honor to Him. During those times, people take notice also and glorify The Lord for your obedience.
I confess, it is a difficult thing to ask anyone who’s been hurt to forgive – especially if the offender doesn’t see the need to ask for it. I still recommend forgiveness – for I am fully convinced of its power.
I prayerfully challenge you today to try it.