We all have in common, at one time or another, being ripped off, taken advantage of and disrespected. It could have been through a break up, a bad business deal, an online hater, a broken promise from a close friend or even someone you trusted that violated every ounce of trust you had in them.
You are not alone. These experiences sometimes cause stress levels to soar. Even when you think you have it behind you they appear out of nowhere bringing up unhealthy feelings.
As a Christian, we are suppose to forgive, right? Is asking forgiveness enough or do you have to confront the person? Does the answer depend on the damage done? Why can’t I just forget them and move on?
Many of these good questions generate plenty of opinions from a vast amount of people. These questions should have clear, easy answers, but when you ask “what do Christians believe about this” you will likely get a lot of different answers.
The most common answer on reconciliation is straight from the mouth of Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 5:20-24. The basic premise is to do whatever it takes to make things right. If you have sinned against someone, or even if that person thinks you have sinned against them, and you hadn’t intended to, the priority is to reconcile and heal the relationship.
I’ve wrestled with this more than you know. It comes down to this piercing truth, do I trust God’s sovereignty to make things right or do I need to settle the score. It comes down to your world view. Are you the god of your universe or do you submit the One who really is at the center?
Then there is this
What if the one you need to forgive is you? You are carrying a big load, known or unknown by those around you. Regardless, you just can’t seem to move on. I have drank from that cup. Satan is very quick to remind you of your past failures.
Forgiving yourself is not specifically addressed in the Bible, but there are principles you can use.
- When God forgives us He remembers our sins no more (Jeremiah 31:34). He chooses to forgive us, He chooses not to bring up our sin in a negative way.
- In Acts 10:34 we see God shows no partiality to forgiveness. I think we can apply the “no partiality” standards to ourselves.
- Forgiving yourself is not about forgetting. If you have a scar on your body and look at it, although it does not hurt anymore and it has healed, you remember the injury all to well.
Scars teach you deep truths, but they don’t have to consume you moving forward.
Are you exhausted from holding on to anger, hatred and resentment towards yourself or others? What if you turned all that energy you are wasting into healing and moving on?
It’s time to get back in the boat and hit new shores!