When I was young, I was sexually abused. My life was turned upside down. Not only was I effected, but my parents were too. My day to day changed, and so did I. I became paranoid, and emotionally jaded. When I got to college, I was on a self-destructive path, that was littered with alcohol abuse, drug use, and much more. My life got flipped upside down because I could not deal with the reality of my abuse. Things got worse before the got better, but I am thankful that they eventually did get better, because some people are not as fortunate. The man who abused me, did more than put his hands on me in the moments he did. His actions plastered my life with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and self hatred. He took from me, my peace, my compassion, and my confidence, among other things. So, how do you forgive someone who has taken so much from you?
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times” ~ Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)
When I first told my testimony, I had several people tell me that I had a right to be angry, and I had the right not forgive the man who abused me. Even though those people were trying to be nice, and sympathize with me, they were wrong. As Christians we don’t have the right not to forgive. We have the greatest role model, when it comes to forgiveness. Before He was crucified, Jesus was mocked, and spat on, by people, who He died to save. Not only did Jesus save them, but in that salvation, He forgave them. What a great picture of forgiveness, and love.
The beautiful thing about forgiveness, is that we sin everyday, and everyday God chooses to forgive us, and doesn’t love us any less. I mean wow! And the even more beautiful thing about that is that, it’s not a reason for us to sin more, but see, and appreciate Gods grace, because where sin abounds grace abounds even the more.
The beautiful thing about forgiveness is that we sin everyday & everyday God chooses to forgive us & doesn’t love us any less. @Grace_and_Such
So if God can show us endless forgiveness and a boundless grace, then why can’t we show others just a little? Jesus makes it very clear in the parable of the unmerciful servant (Matthew 18:21-35), how to deal with forgiveness. Just as God shows us forgiveness and mercy and grace everyday, we are to do the same to others, because we are sinners too. I have forgiven the man who has abused me, not because I like him, or want to be his friend, but because I, like him am a sinner, and even though what he did served a different set of repercussions, than my sins, Jesus forgave him, because he sees us all as sinners, and if Jesus says he is forgiven, the who am I to say that he’s not?
How do you forgive someone who has taken so much from you, or someone who simply hurt your feelings? You pray to God to see them through His eyes.