Forgiveness is always a good thing but I notice some definite differences in the process of forgiveness between people and the process of forgiveness between us and God. With God, we are dealing with the perfect, sinless creator that chooses to show us mercy though we don’t deserve it. He is able to forgive us once for all. We need to sincerely repent, and then in Hebrews 8:12 the Lord says, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” God doesn’t change his mind or realize later an area he forgot to address. Nor does he continue to hold a grudge. God’s forgiveness is amazing.
The process of forgiveness between people, though, can take time and require layers of forgiveness. When we discover a passageway in our hearts that is blocked with bitterness and anger, we can offer it up to God and ask for his healing touch. He helps us know how to think through it, pray about it and possibly discuss the situation with the offending person. Sometimes, we can just move on at that point.
Other times, though, only some of the passageway is cleared out. I’ve found this true of most larger and older wounds. Progress is made and celebration is still in order, but we aren’t going to be running through that passageway yet! We may begin to see light come through, and get excited to know change has begun. But, it’s going to take time to completely clear the whole passageway out. We can be ok with this forgiveness process too. We keep moving along, living life. God’s got the situation in his hands. But thankfully, there’s no need to obsess about it or feel guilty that our heart isn’t yet at rest about it.
God is constantly tidying up our hearts and opening doors to rooms we forgot even existed. Some doors open and we gasp, what a mess! It stinks in here. Help me, God! And God does come alongside us to clean that room up and make it a beautiful place to be. God gets to the source of the problem and offers us absolute, complete healing. He gives us the boldness we need to talk about this process with wise advisors. We just need to trust his timing and be patient with ourselves. Our hearts and minds are very complex. Every day he makes us just a bit more like him if we allow him to.
If you haven’t thanked God for his amazing forgiveness, why not do that today? It’s something that should always be close to our hearts and minds.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32