|Art and Text by Christina A. Morley|
Sometimes the wounds inflicted go so deep that we might not feel the people who hurt us deserve forgiveness. We harbor negativity toward them because we want them to pay for what they’ve done. This negativity seeps into our being like a toxin, but we only end up hurting ourselves. The more we suffer emotionally, the more we suffer physically.
Whenever we think the other person doesn’t deserve forgiveness, we ought to look back at the cross. Jesus endured a brutal crucifixion in order to accept punishment for mankind’s sins. He took the penalty of every injustice that we ever felt with each blow. That horrible event was God’s just punishment for all sin, so there could be forgiveness for everyone.
He knows how we feel. He fully understands our weaknesses, our struggles, our hurts, and our pains. He doesn’t take the wounding we’ve received lightly. Yet, He also knows that the answer to any wounding comes through forgiveness. Sometimes, we need to forgive ourselves too. When we don’t, we are declaring that God’s judgment on Jesus was not sufficient suffering to pay for our mistakes. Forgiveness helps the hurting heart to heal and the hardened heart to feel.
Sometimes it helps to remember that hurting people hurt others. This doesn’t excuse their behavior, but does explain it. Something went wrong in their lives, and then, they acted out of their own emotional mess. We have the opportunity, on the other hand, to make the right decision regarding forgiveness so that this messed-up cycle stops with us.