Today is Global Forgiveness Day. It was started in 1994 by the Christian Embassy of Christ’s Ambassadors, and originated in Canada.
One of my favorite quotes about forgiveness is “holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
Honestly, it’s hard for me to forgive. I don’t want to give up my right to be hurt about whatever was done to me. I want to be justified in any future thoughts or actions. I want it to be like in the movies, where the person who hurt me would suffer some equal embarrassment and realize the pain they put me through. I want resolution. I want the guarantee that it will never happen again.
But that is a skewed definition of forgiveness. I think the most correct use of forgiveness used now is the forgiveness of a debt in the financial world. It means that the person who lent the money to the owing party will just have to lose that money, and never expect it to be paid back. Ever.
It means not only do I let that pain or mistake go without any satisfactory resolution, but it also means that I accept that it could happen again, and I would have to forgive again. My forgiveness is not dependent on the change of someone’s behavior. My forgiveness is dependent on what God has taught me to do by forgiving me.
Think about it. How many times have you made mistakes or just outright sinned against God, and yet He covers you with grace over and over again. In the same way, that is how we should treat each other.
Forgiveness is hard. It doesn’t guarantee resolution or justification or validation. But when we let go and give the situation over to God, he can do amazing things in our lives. It may never be the vengeance or resolution that we want, but I am beyond blessed. I’m able to enjoy the blessings of my life because I choose to not drink the poison.