Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”
Everyone agrees forgiveness is something we should do until we are confronted with the unforgivable.
From Seventh Dimension – The Door, a Young Adult Christian Fantasy:
I stood frozen as if shot with a stun gun. How could he be here? Memories hijacked me—the curse he put on me two years ago, the attack in the hallway, shaming me with the worm, and all the things too numerous to mention. He had made my life hell. I hated him. How dare he follow me here! I began to hyperventilate, feeling my way behind me with my hands.
“Don’t come near me or I’ll kill you.”
id Shale have the “right” to hate Judd? After all, he had molested her and made her life hell.
How about Judd? Was he justified in how he treated Shale? Shale had hurt Judd when she accidentally killed his puppy. Do two wrongs make a right?
I have been a Christian since I was twelve years old. At thirty I rededicated my life to Jesus Christ when I read the book of Romans in the New Testament. My desire to read the Bible was prompted when my husband left me for another woman.
At the core of my struggle was the fact I didn’t want to forgive him. I wanted to hold on to my pain because it was familiar. I had been in a lot of pain for a long time. I didn’t know how I would live without him and I didn’t feel like he deserved to be forgiven.
Besides that, I was grieving. Emotionally I was too distraught to be rational about the concept of forgiveness. Its stranglehold on me was relentless.
Once I reached the point I knew I needed to forgive, I wasn’t sure I wanted to. I felt like I had died a thousand deaths and there was no way I could forgive anyone who had hurt me that badly.
Has someone done something to you and you can’t seem to let go? Have you ever done something to someone else that caused that person immense pain?
Over the course of time, the raw memories will fade. The pain may ease, but will probably always be there. Despite the hurt, forgiveness brings acceptance and peace.
Hate is one of the strongest emotions of the human psyche. Martin Luther King said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
How did Shale’s hatred toward Judd spill out into other areas of her life? Do you want to be like Shale?
When you harbor unforgiveness, it’s toxic. You can’t compartmentalize it. Being unable to forgive will eventually take over your entire personality. Have you ever met an angry person?
Thoughts, emotions, and actions will be affected. Just like cancer invades a person’s body, hatred knows no boundaries.
Preoccupation with hate can become a full-time job. It takes a lot of energy to stay angry—energy that could be used for more constructive purposes. Satan is the only winner when you refuse to forgive. Is the price of unforgiveness worth it?
Dear Jesus, I want to forgive, but I don’t know how. Help me to let go of my pain. Help me not to hate. Even if I was willing to forgive, it wouldn’t change what has already happened, but I don’t want to be separated from you. Please help me to forgive.