“All right: that person has behaved badly toward you. But, haven’t you behaved worse toward God?” Jose Escriva
How easy it is to get on my high horse when someone offends me! Full of self-righteousness, I gripe and murmur and complain to all and sundry of how hurt/irritated/angry/victimized I am. No wonder I can find it hard to forgive! The focus is all on me.
When that happens, it is imperative to get the focus off myself, and onto Christ. Ephesians 4:32 commands us to “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
As I focus on Christ, I remember all that he has done for me. I remember my sin, and his incomparable grace in forgiving it. And when I remember all that he has forgiven, then the offense someone else has given me suddenly becomes not the breeding ground for resentment and anger, but a field where the seeds of forgiveness, hope, reconciliation, and grace can be sown.
Are you holding any offenses close to your chest, refusing or believing it impossible to forgive the person who hurt you?
Spend time reviewing your sins, both against God and others. Then, remember that Jesus has forgiven them all – every single one of them, even the ones that were the most heinous. And he did it freely, and with great love. Consider what Jesus went through on the cross to achieve your forgiveness.
Ask God for the grace, strength, and love to forgive the person who hurt you.