Anger and revenge for being hurt or wronged are natural for human beings, yet the concept of forgiveness is mentioned over 40 times throughout the Bible. Forgiveness goes against our natural instincts, and yet, again and again God wants us to forgive.
I have written about forgiveness before. This passage again speaks to one of the hardest things for us as human beings to remember and accomplish. Turning the other cheek, walking the extra mile, praying for those who persecute you, and loving your enemies, all seem impossible sometimes.
Recently I chose to forgive someone close to me, and I, too, was forgiven. When I thought about why the person hurt me, I saw past my own hurt and anger, and saw that the other person was hurting and lashing out because of their own perception of being wronged. When we both stopped being angry with each other, we found love and peace.
It’s not easy to find love for those who dislike us and to pray for those who hurt us. However, when we do, we can share the love of God’s forgiveness with those who cannot let go of their own anger and resentment.
God of compassion, help us truly forgive and pray for those who need to find love and forgiveness within themselves. Amen. — GB