Carly never knew how her sister was going to treat her when she came to visit. There were visits when there seemed to be a flicker of hope, but, then it would be snuffed with harsh words, condescension, insults, rebuke. The cycle has repeated itself over and over again for years–emotional injuries and the necessity of forgiveness.
Jesus addressed the need for forgiveness, even at his death, Father, forgive them (Luke 23:34). Forgiveness is an absolute when it comes to following Jesus. He sets the bar of willingness to forgive. Jesus didn’t hold close the repeated hurts, rejection, betrayal that were hurdled towards him. Even knowing the outcome, he kept Judas on as a disciple, never wavered with Peter, and had compassion for the uppity desires of James and John. Forgiveness was a part of Jesus’ DNA.
If Jesus forgave so freely, why do we find forgiveness so difficult? Admitting that our own actions, choices, responses need forgiveness requires that we look inward. Upon discovering that our emotional DNA is lacking we discover we don’t like what we see. Forgiving the individual who has caused so much hurt is to acknowledge that, in the eyes of Jesus, we are exactly the same. To forgive is to acknowledge our need for forgiveness.
Forgiving the person in one's life who repeatedly inflicts hurts isn't easy. But in forgiving we begin to understand the freely given Jesus forgiveness we receive.
Jesus, thank you for instinctively forgiving me.
I need a forgiving "second" nature. I’ve been hurt
but help me to be like You, not holding on but forgiving
in the same way I have been forgiven.