The other day I had a very deep conversation with a friend of mine on the topic of forgiveness. I wanted to understand the biblical significance of forgiveness. The following scriptural verses resonated in my heart:
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11:25)
“Love keeps no records of wrong.” (1 Corinthians 13:5)
I understand that true forgivenss is no longer holding anything against someone. However, is forgiveness an act of love? If so, are we stifling God’s ability to love through us by remembering the wrong done to us?
My friend responded by telling me that forgiveness is a means of letting go and no longer harboring resentment for another person–Christ would not want us to put ourselves in harm’s way. She said, if a person is wrongs you, he or she should be forgiven. At the same time, she told me it was important to protect myself and my loved ones from danger.
I enjoyed talking to her and felt at peace with coming to terms that forgivenss is an act of love in which we are no longer bonded to pain. However, there are times when we need to guard our hearts and our minds.
- Can we forgive while remembering the pain?
- Should we hold on to the pain someone has caused as a means of protecting ourselves?
- Are we stifling God’s ability to love through us by keeping records of wrongs?