Forgiveness, one of the most Difficult Elements of Love

As I am finishing up the book by Philip Carlson; “You Were Made for Love” I’ve hit the chapter on forgiveness. Here are some tough words:

Forgiveness has two essential components, a choice and a follow through. When we choose to forgive we let go of our hurt, anger and desire for revenge and release the offender from the consequences of the way their actions affected us. Forgiveness is not denial of the pain and loss; it’s not pretending that it never happened. It requires tremendous courage and honesty. It is a choice to see the offender apart from the pain and anger. We are freed to start over and risk further relationship. By clinging to unforgiveness, we committee ourselves to carrying the pain of the past into the future. We rob ourselves of the freedom God intends to give us.

A Choice and a follow through. Many times I know I have chosen to forgive someone. I make a solid concrete decision to forgive, but I also know there has been no follow through. I haven’t truly released the person from the pain they have caused me.
In my last post I spoke of a situation where I had to hold onto the truth, because the person whom I was dealing with who was emptying themselves on me, did so with some very ugly hurtful words. As I sat there taking it all in, trying to process truth from lies I had to make a conscience choice right there in the midst of it all to forgive what was happening, and now I am struggling with step two. The follow through. We can get real good at saying over and over in our minds, “I forgive her, I forgive him” It’s the next part that we must call on the Holy Spirit for the power to do. To release them of the pain they have caused. and to see them apart from it. When I do that, when I look beyond the verbal assault, I see a deeply wounded soul and I hurt for them, more then I hurt for myself.
Now that is Love in it’s truest sense. Seeing the other as more import than ourselves. Romans 12: 3 & 10 both speak to these telling us (vs3) Not to think of ourselves more highly then we ought and (vs10) Honor one another above yourselves. Putting an others pain and hurt before our own can be a difficult thing. While I’m licking my wounds, if I can only envision that they too have wounds, wounds I may know nothing about. I can then separate my pain from the person and apply a love and forgiveness that Christ calls us to.
I’m looking forward to the last chapter of the book, “A Life that makes a Difference; Faith” this book has cut deep, and it has healed much. I pray you pick it up and let it speak to your heart.

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