“Holding a grudge doesn’t make you stronger; it makes you bitter. Forgiving doesn’t make you weak; it sets you free.” – Dave Willis
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you” – C.S. Lewis
“Then he adds, the sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” – Hebrews 10:17
I once prided myself on my ability to let go of others’ wrongdoings. When someone asked me for forgiveness I was so glad they had recognized they hurt me, that of course I accepted their apology.
Lately I’ve realized that maybe I haven’t actually done my part in this act of forgiveness. I haven’t actually let go of how angry that action made me even if I said I accepted their apology. What is more, rarely have I forgiven someone when they haven’t said sorry.
Thoughts on the matter spurred in talking to one of my lovely roommates on Easter. She reflected on some readings from college and how we as a society (Christian & non-Christian) talk about love and being more loving. However we don’t often talk about forgiveness and being more forgiving. There is not the same cultural pressure to forgive as there is to love.
Sometimes there’s even the reverse: there’s a pressure to hold grudges and question if people have a right to be forgiven. We sometimes tell others or are told to judge the action and then decide if that person can be forgiven for it. We’re even seen as stronger if we can fight back against the hurt someone caused us.
We just celebrated Easter, a day where Christ proclaimed that his death washed away our sins. We didn’t ask him to, but he died for us to forgive us our trespasses. He goes so far as to say he will “remember them no more.”
When I take time to reflect on how profound this is, my little human mind can hardly fathom it. How could he just let go of all the acts I both intentionally and unintentionally do?
Here we are entering further into spring, and it seems like a wonderful time to fully let go of and wash away our grudges. Not to question how deserving others are.
Jesus forgave the unforgivable. We hadn’t yet said sorry. He just knew it was right.