I am not very good at forgiving. I am good at forgetting when I hurt someone, though. It is such a great feeling when someone forgives me for a wrong, especially when its my wife. I try not to dwell on the hurt I caused and move on, focusing on being a better friend or husband. But, for some reason when I am being asked to forgive it is more difficult to move on.
There are three little words that help make it easier to forgive someone: “Please forgive me.” I’ve found that it is easier to forgive someone when they ask for it. Even when asked, it is not always easy to forgive. But compared to forgiving someone who does not ask for it, its a walk in the park.
How many times do you struggle with forgiving someone who never asks for it? There are times you know forgiveness needs to be given and you are the one who was hurt, so you are the one who needs to forgive. A few weeks ago I heard someone talk about forgiveness.
The question was asked (and has been holding tight to me for the last few weeks),
“Can you talk about them (people you need to forgive) without bringing up their weaknesses?”
Ouch. That’s been a tough one.
I can say I forgive them. But unless I can talk about them without bringing up negatives, can I truly say I’ve forgiven them? When I talk about someone and talk about their weaknesses I’m trying to make them look bad. I want to be perceived as better than them.
In ministry, I think this is a huge issue. At any given point in your ministry, you will find yourself on both sides of the situation. There will be people you have hurt and people who have hurt you. Does this affect how you treat them or how you talk about them? Look at Jesus’ ministry. If you read him talking negatively about someone, its being said right to that person. He was willing to forgive those who hurt Him, even those who crucified Him.
Next time you forgive someone, remember to think about how you feel about them. Don’t let past hurts creep up into your current ministry.