Beautiful Forgiveness

Beautiful Forgiveness

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.

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.

Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Aria Kendall Johnson
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  1. Ruth on August 24, 2016 at 6:21 AM

    Amen and thank you for sharing!! We have an awesome and restoring God.

  2. Diane on August 24, 2016 at 7:49 AM

    ‘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.’ Powerful words from a heart that has healed…and continues to heal. Thank you, Aria, for the courage of your testimony, and the faith you display in it!!

  3. Katie on August 24, 2016 at 7:50 AM

    Aria, I absolutely adore you and am inspired by you. Thank you for sharing something so powerful ❤️

  4. Julie Steele on August 24, 2016 at 8:20 AM

    Thank you, Aria for sharing your story. As a survivor, I know what a struggle life is for those who have faced darkness. There is so much pressure to forgive for the wrong reasons, for others, for a situation to disappear but you talk about the right reasons. Thank you.

  5. Gretchen on August 24, 2016 at 11:43 PM

    What a beautiful story of redemption, Aria. Thank you for your transparency and for your exhortation to see others with the eyes through which Jesus sees them. <3

  6. Diane Tarantini on September 1, 2016 at 6:31 PM

    I never fail to be shocked and saddened by how many of us have had this same experience. Oh, what a world! I am so glad that you ignored the counsel NOT to forgive your abuser. If we walk through life full of bitterness and unforgiveness, we have no hope of joy, none. xoxo

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