Recently, I’ve had to forgive people for some things that I wish didn’t happen. Through the process of apologizing and forgiving, I came to realize that my definition of forgiveness was skewed. I assumed that forgiveness came with certain expectations and stipulations, but the truth is, it doesn’t.
On Sunday, my pastor talked about forgiveness, and what he said was nothing short of a revelation to me. Here’s what he said…
Forgiveness doesn’t make someone’s sin okay.
Forgiveness doesn’t deny hurt or offense.
Forgiveness is not always a relational reset.
And here’s what I got from what he said…
Forgiving someone doesn’t mean burying the hurt that you feel. It doesn’t mean that you have to force yourself to forget what happened. It simply means that you are no longer giving yourself the right to judge someone based on what happened.
Forgiveness doesn’t always result in things being back to the way they were before. It may mean that the relationship drifts apart, or even ceases to exist. And that’s okay.
I used to get frustrated when I would forgive someone and then still remember the hurt I felt, or when things wouldn’t go back to normal and I thought I had forgiven them the wrong way (or maybe not at all).
Ephesians 4:31-5:1 says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Love people. Forgive people. Don’t be angry or bitter.
But don’t bury hurt. Don’t force relationships. Don’t ignore sin.
It’s a fine line, and sometimes I feel like it contradicts itself – but I do know that the Bible says to love and forgive… and that’s solid truth.
I’m still learning how to fully forgive, and what that looks like. I’d love to hear your input if you have any to give.
Thanks for reading, friends.
P.S. If you’d like to watch the sermon that my pastor preached, click here.