Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Often people find it difficult to forgive because they are not clear on what forgiveness is and what it is not.
Forgiveness is not forgetting about what happened or acting like everything is okay. It does not mean that you condone what happened, agree with it or like it. You are not overlooking the offense or excusing it, and you are definitely not letting the offender off the hook for their words or actions.
Instead, you’re putting them on God’s hook, and trusting God to deal with it fairly because He said He would. As you release the person who’s wronged you to God, He ensures justice is served; not you. “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)
I like what C.D. Baker says about God’s justice in 40 Loaves: Breaking Bread with Our Father Each Day, “Yes, God seeks justice and so should we. He grieves when we are oppressed or taken advantage of, and he demands justice on our behalf. But what we forget is that Jesus already paid the price for others’ violations against us…and for our violations against them. We don’t need to seek vengeance.” (emphasis mine)
Indeed, the God of unconditional love is also our advocate for justice.
Forgiving someone who has hurt or wronged you is a big topic, so there’s more to come later this week.
Jackie M. Johnson is an author and freelance writer in Colorado. Her hope-filled and encouraging books include "Power Prayers for Women," "When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty" and "Powerful Prayers for Challenging Times." Jackie also writes the Living Single blog on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk website.