Forgiving can be Tough

I can have a hard time forgiving some people.  I think they don’t deserve it.  And I want justice done.  I want them to feel the pain they have caused me.  And I think I’m right.

Forgiving someone doesn’t mean everything is okay.  It doesn’t mean that there are no consequences for the offending person.  They are still responsible for what they have done; they still may need to apologize to you, pay restitution or even go to jail.

But, when I forgive I give up the right of revenge.  I choose not to retaliate.  I don’t “get even.”   “Vengeance is Mine” God said, “I will avenge, I will repay.”  When God does the vengeance it is with a spirit of helping; helping you, the situation and even the person in the wrong.  When I seek vengeance it is with a spirit to hurt; to hurt the one who wronged me.  And I end up making things worse, especially for me.

I don’t realize it at the time, but when I hold on to a hurt, I am a slave to that hurt.  I constantly relive the pain of the offense.  I plot my revenge even if I would never act on it.  I am consumed and controlled by the offender and my desire for their pain.  But, if I release the right of revenge, God also releases me from revenge’s control.  Jesus said, if you do not forgive other men’s sins against you, God will not forgive your sins.  But, if you forgive others, He will forgive you.

When I release the right of revenge I am free, free to receive God’s love and give it back to Him and others.

I wish I could say that just knowing this has eliminated unforgiveness in my life… it hasn’t.  And obviously that is not God’s fault… it’s mine.  Some of my unforgiveness is just a habit.  It’s become a root of bitterness that I am now asking God in prayer to help me root out.  I am now also asking Him to help me to have a desire to be free more than to have a desire to avenge.

I hope to update you later on my progress.  I ask you keep me accountable because it is a whole lot easier to write about following Jesus than it is to actually follow Him.  My biggest enemy I have learned is myself.  It’s not so much that I need to know what to do; it’s that I need to do what I know. 

Thank you for reading.  If you have struggles and/or successes or anything on your mind you would like to share or anything you want to pray about please feel free to comment.

Author: james bruce mcnaughton

I became Seriously Mentally Ill at age 18, ten years later I got and took the right meds, I accepted Jesus, and my recovery began.

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