Choosing to Forgive
Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
Proverbs 17:9 NIV
This morning I woke to the sound of my youngest daughter crying. She had closed the door on her brother and accidentally trapped his fingers. In his anger and hurt he had hit her. As I sat with my son speaking to him about his anger, I wondered whether these events would spiral. Sometimes it seems that a day that starts with tears is often a day that ends with tears as well.
My son agreed he needed to say sorry to both his sister and to everyone else in the house that he had woken up, but, in tears, he told me he was scared to do so. As we went down the stairs, he squeezed my hand tightly and stood in the doorway where he couldn’t be seen. I said to everyone that he had something to say when my youngest daughter jumped down, flung her arms around him, and gave him a big hug. In that embrace she let him know he was forgiven before he even said he was sorry.
Sometimes, we need to remember that forgiveness is a choice we make. Sometimes we withhold our forgiveness for fear that forgiving someone somehow excuses their sin, their mistake. But forgiveness does not excuse the sin – instead forgiveness demonstrates love. It seeks to transform the situation as opposed to letting it linger and fester.
The scripture above reminds us of this fact. Forgiving others is not easy. It is often a choice we must make repeatedly. This explains why those who think that forgiving others shows weakness are so wrong. Forgiveness requires more strength and courage than holding on to our anger.
Revelation 13:8 tells us that Jesus was the lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world. This means that God had chosen to forgive us before he died on the cross. Before he even took on flesh and came to dwelt with us. That he came knowing he would need to cover our offences demonstrates the love he has for us. The love that he shares with us. The love that provides the strength to forgive even those who we would be otherwise unable to forgive.
Father in Heaven, thank you for the forgiveness we have through the precious blood of your Son. Help us to choose forgiveness and to let go of our anger and hurt. Help us to demonstrate your love and to let go the pain of the past. To you be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Study by Gavin Henderson
About the writer: Gavin Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for GCI UK and Ireland
Local congregation: GCI Northampton Ecton Village Hall 78A High Street Ecton NORTHAMPTON NN6 0QB
Meeting time: Saturday 11am
Local congregational contact: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Word of Life contact: email@example.com