One of the hardest things about chosing to walk worthy (Colossians 1:10) is chosing to forgive when you are wronged. It may be a stranger who wrongs you, other times we find ourselves wronged by friends or loved ones. Somehow this pain is harder to bear and forgive. A stranger doesn’t know you, doesn’t know your story, your weaknesses or your strengths. But a friend or a family member– they know you intimately. They know what movies you like, how you eat your pizza, they know your fears and your joys. How could they hurt you?
As a result of our move out-of-state I have had dear ones who I value and love, speak hurtful words to me and about my family. They have been some of the deepest cuts I have felt. How can I chose to go forward in our relationship after that kind of injury? Much of my spirit says, “Nope. You blew it. I don’t trust you anymore and I won’t let you into my life and my heart anymore.”
Then I think about Jesus.
Jesus came to love and live for all of humanity. He loved his disciples dearly and He shared some of His most intimate moments this side of heaven with them. Yet, they betrayed Him. Peter denied Him, Judas turned Him into the Pharisees and other leaders. The other disciples abandoned Him at His most crucial point of need.
And Jesus forgave them.
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” is how Jesus handled His betrayal. He forgave them. If Jesus forgave the people who put Him to death, I think I can swallow my pride and forgive those who have hurt me.
As for me, I will chose forgiveness. Even when it is hard. Even when “they don’t deserve forgiveness.” If Jesus did it and I say I want to follow Him, I need to do it too.