Forgiveness, what a word. The Bible tells us to forgive 70 x 7 times; in other words, an unlimited number of times. The Bible also tells us that if we don’t forgive others, that we will not be forgiven. We are all told to forgive one another but it is very hard to do. Here is why. There is a thing called the “stress response”. If the stress response is triggered by a meeting of one you said you had forgiven, then you had not fully forgiven.
A lawyer beat me out of a sizable architectural fee 40 years ago. He was an evil person and hurt many others. He also hurt my wife and children. The courts were of no help after years of trying, so one day I decided that I was carrying way too much baggage about this guy, after all I had recovered from the pain he caused. I wrote him and said I forgive you. Of course, I never got a reply; I didn’t expect one. He probably thought I was weak. Soon, I began to consider…what if I run into him on the elevator? How would I feel? Being honest with myself, I decided I would get nervous, flushed with adrenaline, and so thought I had not FULLY forgiven. It took about a year of working on my forgiveness before I decided I would have no reaction and could actually wish the man “a good day”.
Yes, to fully forgive can be difficult but I promise it will be YOU who will be blessed in doing so. Furthermore, each and everyone of us needs forgiveness for something; looking back, I could fill a book; I am so glad that God has forgiven me, now what will be my response be to God’s mercy and grace?