How many times in your life have you been wronged by someone? Was the wrong caused by someone you know or by a stranger who said or did something? Can you even count how many times someone’s hurtful words or actions made you angry, sad, or discouraged? I know I can’t.
I have been wronged, greatly wronged by family members, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and strangers. For years I thought, “How could that person say that to me?” or “I tried my best, but I guess it wasn’t good enough.” or “Why would a stranger say something that hurtful to someone they don’t even know?”. My first thought was always about ME. They don’t know ME. How dare they say or do that to ME. What gives them the right to treat ME that way.
The one thing I never thought of was them.
What happened to that person over the course of their life that caused them to feel this way? What did someone say or do, or better yet, neglect to say or do to that person that would allow them to treat someone else with disrespect? When you really look into someone’s heart, you become overwhelmed with mercy for them. You realize their heart needs healed.
Over the last few months, I realized I am that stranger, I am that family member, I am that friend, co-worker or acquaintance. I am that person who has inadvertently hurt so many people over the course of my life. I have said and done things that were wrong and walked away having no idea the lasting impact a few words could have. After turning my finger around and pointing it at my heart, I recognize my heart has holes, God sized holes, that need healing, and I can only find healing in Him.
Forgiveness is hard. But forgiveness opens your heart to freedom from the lies, the hatred, and the wasted energy. I ask for your forgiveness today. If there is anything I have ever said or done that has hurt you, please forgive me. Have mercy on me a sinner.
As our Lord Jesus Christ said as he hung on the cross, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do”. Who can you forgive today? Who can you ask for forgiveness today?
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” – Matthew 6:12