Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
In my experiences, a leader in Christ I have come to find extending forgiveness and mercy is a constant thing. Renewing our minds when offenses are presented to us will help us overcome feelings of rejection when we are faced with difficulties. It’s a thing some people are afraid to speak about, but I feel it is helpful to understand forgiveness is something that needs to be continued. “Be angry but sin not.” – Ephesians 4:26. We all have human thoughts, responses, and reactions but God is calling us to a higher standard. Matthew 5:38-40 says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.” Reminding ourselves of the Scriptures will help us continue to walk in love and forgiveness when people have wronged us.
Learn how to forgive without an apology:
In a perfect world, we all want a sincere apology, changed behavior, expressions of love and commitment, loyalty and a heartfelt sorry from someone who has wronged us. But in reality that is simply not the case most of the time. People who lack self-awareness and lack the spirit of God often hurt people along the way to find themselves and never look back to see whom they have knocked down along the way. It’s okay, forgive them anyway. People who refuse to be held accountable will reject you and create a narrative that they are the victim and you are the victimizer. However they try to spin it, God wants you to lay it to rest.
Forgive them without an apology or acknowledgment. This will teach you how to move on quicker and not allow the thoughts, actions, and ideas of other people to rule you. What God says about you matters the most. You have a Heavenly Father who sits high and looks low. A Heavenly Father who is a righteous and every idle word spoken shall be accounted for on the day of judgment.
Forgiving others is not about freeing them but about freeing yourself. It takes a lot of energy and stress to carry burdens and grudges against people. Now every time their name comes up you have to “feel a way” because you haven’t forgiven them. You deserve to be free from the mental torment and spiritual bondage that comes from Unforgiveness and you can start that process now by forgiving them in prayer first.
Forgiveness through prayer:
And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
God wants you to relieve people of their debt against you because God sent Christ to relieve you of your debt against Him. Mercy shown is mercy received and love covers a multitude of sins. Matthew 5:44 says, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” The reason God is telling you to pray for your enemies is so your heart does not become callous and cold. God knows if He can get you to pray for them and love them through their attacks against you, you’re exhibiting The Fruits of The Spirit and living in the image of God. When you pray for your enemies and learn to see them as God does, you will begin to have compassion on them because The Holy Spirit will reveal their brokenness. Praying for your enemies gives God room to rest in your heart instead of angry and pain.
Forgiveness and distance:
I believe there is a misconception between forgiveness accessibility. Accessibility comes with loyalty and respect. When people are disrespectful continually you are obligated by God to continue to forgive them, but Titus 3:10 says,” Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.” Meaning… Access denied. To forgive someone does not mean to continue to be manipulated or to stay in a toxic situation where you are continually violated. you must use wisdom and protect your peace. Forgive them so you can be set free and remember “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23