Day 23 Journey through Lent by Helen Buchanan

Time to Forgive

“If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in Heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.”

Matthew 6. 14

Our lives are busy making it easy to ignore unresolved issues, things we want to deal with another day then never do. These issues can often involve whether we have really let go of a hurt. Lent is an opportunity to think about a broken relationship and see whether we can repair it again. Also to think about Jesus coming to repair our broken relationship with God and recall what he had to go through to achieve this.

Is there someone we still feel resentment towards today? Is there someone we know who we’ve been keeping at arms length because of something that happened years ago and yet it still troubles us? The greater the hurt , the longer it can take to forgive someone. Sometimes forgiveness is not easily achieved and it will take time and effort to get there.

At first, we tend to keep reliving the hurt seemingly over and over again. But be assured that through prayer and a forgiving heart, it is possible to find a way to let the bitterness go and move forward again. Most importantly, what is at the heart of forgiveness, is to cancel the need for the apology we think we are still owed. We must stop ourselves expecting this because often that apology will never come.

Just as we are unconditionally loved by the Lord, so we must unconditionally forgive without any strings attached. It’s tempting to think “ I will be fine the next time she calls but I am not going to call first”. It’s an easy trap to fall into to not make the first move when we are deeply hurt.

But Jesus’ teachings are clear, that until we forgive a wrong doing, then we won’t be forgiven by God. However, we can take comfort knowing God can help us to forgive. After we decide this, the true healing can begin and any memories left will no longer cause the feelings of bitterness it once did and our inner peace will be restored

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