Forgiveness to me doesn’t always mean a restored relationship, though sometimes it can. Forgiveness to me means releasing someone from the spiritual burden of their sins, praying for them to encounter Christ at a new level, and to leave justice and mercy in the hands of God. It’s trusting that God will help me to heal in such a way that the relationship might be restored someday, even if not in this lifetime but in heaven; trusting that there is no more pain or sorrow as His Word states, then the damage of the sins done against me will be repaired.
I pray for those who’ve trespassed against me and desire that they experience a relationship with Jesus; that they find healing and wholeness. I see that as loving my enemies. I see that as having grace and mercy. I see that as forgiveness.
I don’t see that it has to also include keeping in relationship with them but when the circumstances allow for that, it’s precious. It’s so hard and painful to have to let go of people we love and it’s hard not to want to have a relationship with someone our hearts have been softened to because the love of Jesus is inside of us. It’s not an easy way out… ❤
I see a heart lacking forgiveness as one who sees their own sin as less than someone else’s, that they should not see mercy. I see us do this often when we hear someone in the news do something so tragic and outside of our understanding that we can’t possibly imagine that they’d be forgiven by our Father in Heaven… but that’s loving our enemies, loving the unlovable, forgiving the repentant sinner, no matter the sin, and standing in the gap and praying for their relationship with the Lord to be renewed. Praying for healing, wholeness, and for them to be blessed.
Sometimes that is coming alongside them and sometimes it’s declaring truths into the spiritual realm on their behalf, but it’s always with a heart of loving Jesus and therefore loving people as He loves them. Love means you want the best for them… loving our enemies means wanting what’s best for them, even when that means people who have done awful things, who’ve wronged us, who’ve broken and bruised us – that they too would encounter Jesus and be radically changed. That we wouldn’t make it about us, but that we’d remember ‘it’s not about me – it’s all about God.’ ❤