Forgiveness is so damn hard. Sometimes we’re treated so poorly by people we trust, by people we love, hell, sometimes even by strangers. And when we’re heartbroken or frustrated or down, the last thing we want to do is turn the other cheek. The last thing we want to do is show kindness, or smile in their direction. The last thing we want to do is give them forgiveness and grace.
What we really want is to cut them as deeply as they cut us, bring them all the pain they brought into our lives, maybe even doubled. We want to bad mouth them, break them down, maybe even ball our fists and fight them—but what would that really solve?
When we’re young we’re taught that two wrongs don’t make a right. And as sing-songy as that phrase was when we were growing up, it still rings true.
When we’re angry, fighting back in anger only builds up more negativity in our heart. When we’re sad, giving someone else a share of that pain for the wrong reasons doesn’t lift it from our shoulders. Talking crap doesn’t elevate us on the scale. And revenge does nothing but turn our minds and souls bitter instead of brighter.
When you choose to let go of your need to get even, you give yourself an opportunity to truly let go and be healed.
When you stop worrying so much about whether or not that person will get what they deserve and leave it up to God, you find that forgiveness makes you feel lighter and lessens the pain you’re experiencing.
Sometimes it doesn’t make sense that people can step on us and we’re encouraged to do the right thing and not push back. When someone hurts us, we almost turn childlike in our responses, ‘Why me?’ and ’But that’s not fair!’ But that’s the point—forgiveness isn’t about being fair. It’s about giving yourself (and the other person) a chance to start anew. It’s about releasing your grip on what’s bringing you down and allowing yourself to move on. It’s about letting God, or fate, or your higher power to determine what happens to that person.
It’s about freedom and joy.
Revenge does nothing but break your heart even further. But choosing to forgive, to let go, to stop worrying so much about getting even and instead embracing what lies ahead of you—you are brought back into the light again.
Forgiveness is all about remembering what God has done for us. He gave His son to forgive our sins and give us a chance at a beautiful, blameless life in His name. Talk about unfair. Talk about being given an opportunity you didn’t deserve. Talk about being forgiven, maybe when you shouldn’t have been.
And that’s why, when it comes to revenge we need to learn to let go and let God (as cliché as it sounds). What happens to the people that hurt us is not up to us. All we can control is our reaction, our choices, and what we decide to do next. Which, hopefully, is give ourselves new life and peace.
When you’re knuckles are white, wanting to just punch someone in the face, please remember this verse—Romans 12:19 (TLB), “Never avenge yourself. Leave that to God, for he has said that he will repay those who deserve it.” This is God’s promise to us—that He sees the pain we’ve gone through/are going through at the hands of others and He will take care of it.
Instead of focusing so much on who has wronged you, decide to let it all go—the pain, the heartache, the fear, the negativity, the frustration, the anguish.
You deserve a chance to begin again. You deserve to find happiness and love. You deserve to move forward without being held back by what has happened to you.
So do just that.
Let love back into your heart. Love for the people who have hurt you, knowing that God has it under control. Love for yourself, believing that you will rise and start again. Love for all that’s around you because forgiveness will have lifted your spirit and shown you a new beginning.
Love. Because your little heart doesn’t like to be bogged down with negativity. And this is your chance to set it free.