Psalm 86:5 For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.
Corinthians 2:20,22 Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
God wants us to forgive those who have caused harm to us. I think if one is able to do that one has truly reached a level of love for others which brings us closer and closer to how our creator wants us to interact with others. Certainly, Jesus walked in love while here. He showed no disdain for the poor, the dirty, the ill, the hurt, and so forth.
But he did show grave disapproval to pompous and rich church leaders who spouted rules but lived with no love, only condemnation and judgment toward others. That angered our savior. He came to serve, to show us how to love, how to be patient, and give entirely.
Jesus walked among the people, knowing and understanding their motives, motivations, their suffering, hopes, and so forth. He held love for them; his heart ached for their trying times, their hunger, their illnesses, and he reached out. His manner was calm, quiet, but with an authority and confidence that brought those people to seek Him. People witnessed Him healing the sick, raising some from death, but caring for people, loving and serving them.
He encouraged His followers by example and by teaching. Much of this teaching was not fully understood. After all, His ways are not our ways. We must learn and reach for them, asking the Holy Spirit to guide our steps in this endeavor. Although, they did not always fully understand, they yearned to. On the subject of forgiveness, Peter asked “How many times, Lord, must I forgive?” We can all relate to that question. But Jesus quickly answered “70 x 7” which indicated endlessly.
I don’t think most can do that. There comes a time when most will at the most walk away, whether it be a form of self-preservation, no longer tolerating being hurt, or just not continuing to be used by another. We may see behaviors such as addictions which continue and continue. Sometimes we have to walk away to avoid being sucked into the negative vortex and hope and pray the one living with addiction reaches the bottom fast. We pray that once bottom comes, then they can reach up. We can love and forgive, but can no longer live and support behaviors sometimes.
Do you realize that not forgiving someone causes illness and darkness in you? It’s speculated that un-forgiveness can lead to many different illness–ulcers, some cancers, high blood pressure and so forth. It puts YOUR body under stain. So it is best to forgive, even if your heart is not wholly into forgiving someone, the act of doing it, and asking God to help you feel the forgiveness to the person loosens its poison from you.
It can be difficult to forgive. Sometimes the anger and hurt is so vast. But forgiveness is not necessarily something you feel right away. The anger, hurt, disappointment, whatever can last a long time. But the act of forgiveness really is your gift to you. You hold onto the anger, hurt, etc. But once you release it, and forgive another, the dark tendrils begin to unwind their hold on you.
You have begun to free yourself, to ease your dark burden, and God then steps in and begins to soothe the hurt that caused the damage away. And we all need that.