The Forgiveness Factor (Part 6)

We have all been wounded, hurt, disappointed, or offended. That’s for sure, and no good reason exists to answer the “why” question other than the dark effects of sin in this world. None of us necessarily deserve these things, but the reality is we’ve all experienced them in one form or another. We cannot stop them from happening, but we can, in time, respond to them appropriately.

Time does not heal all wounds. It’s how you use the time that counts. Some experiences that happen to us as children are so horrible that our minds hide them from us so we can survive and grow stronger. Otherwise, the experiences of that event would destroy us. But, over time we mature to the place where we can deal with the pain we have experienced. The question is—will we?                  

Sometimes we stuff them down and shut them away in a little room in our soul. You know the place—that tiny dead end closet at end of the hall in your heart. We cram them in, nail the door shut, and then put a chain and lock around it so nothing can get out and no one can get in. We hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on it and throw away the key. We hope this will do the trick and no one will ever discover or disturb that memory again.

Occasionally we just act like it never happened. We ignore the pain and tell ourselves it never happen. But—it did! And no memory block, no hidden room, or denial will keep them pushed down forever.

There is a moment in the life of every believer when the Holy Spirit will tell us it’s time to forgive—to pardon, overlook, or remit the wrong done to us—and give God the responsibility for dealing with that other person. That moment does not mean we act like it never happened, or that it doesn’t matter, or that it didn’t hurt, or that we must forget it and never mention it again. None of those things have anything to do with forgiveness.

When that moment comes, we have a simple choice to make. Will we forgive or not? The choice is ours, but if we choose not to, our refusal becomes sin. Let’s be very clear here, the offense, hurt, wound, or offense is not “our” sin. That sin belongs to someone else. “Our” sin is the refusal to obey God and forgive. Disobedience is “our” sin. And—sin is sin. It destroys our fellowship with God and prevents the healing process from taking place. That refusal then constructs a tiny little prison cell one block at a time until you find yourself imprisoned in solitary confinement with only the pain to keep you company.

The bottom line here is the choice. What happened to you is the sin of some else, but what you do with it will determine whether you sin or not. Why add more misery to the pain?