Forgiveness: the Miracle You Need
Some wounds are so deep that forgiveness is just unnatural. We’re not talking about someone accidentally stepping on your toe. We’re talking about willful disregard of someone else for their own pleasure, ambition, or gratification.
The more I meditate on this, the more I see that forgiveness is a miracle.
When we live with bitterness and unforgiveness, we are as limited as the blind and lame who came to Jesus’ feet to beg for restoration. They didn’t need a patronizing pat on the head and a disingenuous “there, there.” They needed a miracle.
When the wounds are so deep and real that we’ve taken forgiveness off the table as an option, we need a miracle.
If only it were as easy as lip service or praying the “right” prayer. True forgiveness liberates and enlivens us. The rage is replaced with compassion. The hatred is soothed by genuine divine love.
To be honest, I’ve felt this miracle and grace of forgiveness all at once in a beautiful moment of heaven-saturated presence, but I’ve also known the process of forgiveness. In that case, it’s a path and it may take a great while to walk it out.
Craig Groeschel put it this way in The Christian Atheist:
“When we’re told to pray for those who’ve hurt us, I’m convinced our prayers are as much for ourselves as they are for the offender. Making that choice to forgive (even if the process takes years) is huge. It can’t be done flippantly or lightly, most notably because it just won’t stick. You can fake it with the person and others, but you’ll never fool yourself or God.
I also like this statement Mr. Groeschel made referring to a very personal story about the man who molested his sister. He said, “Nothing in me felt like forgiving, but I still made the choice to try.”
God will honor that and work with that honesty. It’s not about feeling like it or some kind of ooey-gooey emotional response. Sometimes, it’s just getting yourself to where Jesus is and allowing Him to do the miracle.
Just as Jesus said many times, “your faith has made you whole.” Jesus was the catalyst that brought the miracle to the person, but their faith brought them in the first place and finished the job. The same is true with forgiveness.
It may seem impossible for this miracle to happen in your life, but the process can start today. The limitations of blind and lame beggars kept them from living the fullest life (especially in those days). If there is any unforgiveness in our hearts, we may be very comfortable with it if we’ve had it for a long time, but guaranteed, it is keeping us from the true depth of God’s promises and life.
I’m not saying it’s easy, but I’ll try to be a friend who would cut a whole in a roof to get you what you need. You and I need forgiveness and we need to walk and exercise forgiveness with others. It’s a miracle that we can’t afford to live without.
What do you think? Have you believed in God, but thought this or that was unforgivable? Do you or would you choose to make a step toward forgiveness?
This post is reworked from a discussion on Craig Groeschel’s book, The Christian Atheist, covering ‘When you believe in God, but won’t forgive.’ Thanks for sharing your insights!