“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy”
Mercy is an interesting thing.
It has been said that mercy is not getting what you do deserve.
While grace is getting something you do not deserve.
For some, the reluctance to forgive comes from a slight misunderstanding. They think that to forgive someone is to “let them off the hook.”
But forgiveness is not letting them off “scot free.”
Nor is it “being weak.”
Forgiving someone who has caused serious pain is perhaps the hardest thing Christans are asked to do.
It’s not easy, but it’s not hard, either. It is impossible without the power of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 19:26)
If you want to see someone’s true character, don’t just watch their actions – watch their reactions.
People can control what they say and do if they have time to think about it – but their reactions put them in the hot seat. On the defense.
Emotions like anger, envy, or contempt, can leak out involuntarily in any given situation.
You can try to conceal them, attempt to deny them, or even wish them away. But their revelation is rarely a choice. That’s the point.
You have to choose to forgive somebody – it’s never an accident.
It is horrible to be back-stabbed, betrayed, cheated, scammed, lied to, or otherwise hurt in any way – especially by someone you trust.
If that has happened, my heart goes out to you.
But understand that forgiveness is not for the one who has caused the harm.
It is for you!
The dangers of refusing to forgive run deep: emotions like bitterness and hatred are just the beginning – the repercussions are awful and you end up throwing away whatever joy you might have had.
When you choose to show mercy and forgive an affront, nobody will be able to question whether or not your faith is real. God’s love will be obvious in you and your testimony will be more powerful than any sermon could ever be.
Ask God today to help you forgive those who have hurt you and make an honest effort to move on.
Remember that it isn’t for them.
It’s for you!