Psalm 103:10-14New Living Translation (NLT)
10 He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
13 The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14 For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.
a : to give up resentment of or claim to requital for <forgive an insult> b : to grant relief from payment of <forgive a debt>
: to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) : pardon <forgive one’s enemies>
The definition above defines forgive and does so correctly; it seems to be a very simple word to define.
In life though…it is possibly one of the hardest words to – put into action!
Life is hard! Life is full of hurt and wrong doings! Not one of us can honestly say that we have never been truly hurt by someone. Often the “hurt” that we experience is not physical…sometimes we wish it was, because physical hurt heals over time…emotional hurt/mental hurt – seem to linger with us forever.
We all know the feeling – someone says something that “hurts” you.
You feel it in your stomach almost as an ache; it pierces you and manifest itself as physical pain.
You feel tense, upset and violated/attacked!
You feel it emotionally too as anxiety, insecurity, anger and failure.
It is a feeling that we do not like and that is uncomfortable and hard to handle. We learn to put up walls to block this feeling from happening again.
At the same time though, as we build these “walls” to protect ourselves, we are also inadvertently holding onto and carrying with us…the exact thing we are trying to escape from or protect ourselves from; The Hurt!
Words are destructive – we don’t realize truly how much power “words” hold. Sometimes we are told something as a child or young adult and we allow that “word/words” to define us. We believe it to be true and therefore sometimes try to live our life proving it not true!
“I will prove them wrong…!”
Sometimes the hurt doesn’t come from “words” sometimes it is an action. Maybe a significant other violated your trust. Maybe “cheating” has found its way into your relationship and has proven to be overwhelming to you (the one cheated on) and you are unable to release the hurt and forgive.
Perhaps you’re the one who “cheated” and the pain/guilt is so unbearable you can’t forgive yourself.
Maybe you have been taken advantage of for your generosity. You may have helped someone out in a time of need; being told that you would later be reimbursed…but that reimbursement never came.
Maybe you have been hurt by love. You loved someone so much and they betrayed you, maybe it was a significant other or maybe it was a parent or sibling.
SO many things can and do happen to us that HURT and so many of us carry that hurt as a burden for so long that we don’t even realize how much it affects us!
Todays verse(s) speak to God’s love for us: 8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. 9 He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever.
Here, I see God, whom we forget – we often “hurt” or betray – and he is compassionate and merciful, slow to anger and filled with unfailing love!
I don’t know about you, but when I feel attacked, hurt or betray…my gut reaction is Anger 🙁 and this anger tends to lead to a grudge.
Verse 12 says: He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
My bible application note states this: East and West can never meet. This is a symbolic portrait of God’s forgiveness: When he forgives our sin, he separates it from us and doesn’t even remember it.
Lets face it, we are super blessed that God is God and that he doesn’t act like us, as human’s!
I can’t even imagine if God held on to all of my wrongs and tried to hold them against me! I would have been doomed by the age of 6 (I wasn’t the most angelic child!)
When we are wronged and we allow that hurt to build a home in our heart, we are basically saying…you win; to the person that hurt us. We are giving them the power and ability to hurt us over and over again.
If someone were to punch you, you would likely try to remove yourself from the situation; you wouldn’t likely stand up and say “please keep punching me”!
When we truly forgive someone for hurting us…We are being the brave one and saying – I am choosing to let this go! I am releasing the hurt, the pain, the guilt, the insecurity, the fear or whatever other emotion that is involved. I am choosing to not let this “feeling” this “hurt” join me on my journey in life.
By choosing to release the hurt and forgive this is the first huge step, but it is crucial that it be followed with the second step…Forget!
We don’t have to give the person who hurt us – a pass; We have to give ourselves one! By choosing to forgive and forget, you are choosing to FREE yourself! You are freeing yourself from the pain and the torture that – holding a grudge or carrying the burden of hurt – will inevitably fall on you.
If you forgive – yet every time you see that person, you remind them of their wrong or you try to pay them back…you haven’t truly forgave. Forgiving and then forgetting means just that – it is gone and you are moving on!
In verse 13 it says: The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
This verse is so full of love, compassion and peace!
Here on earth, unfortunately, not everyone gets to experience fatherly love.
Sometimes, fathers leave the picture of the family; Sometimes by choice and sometimes by uncontrollable circumstances.
I was truly blessed with an amazing Dad, so I can’t even begin to imagine the pain one would experience losing a father, but this verse is saying…no matter your earthly situation – You have a Dad! God can and will act as that Dad! You can’t play football or go dancing with God or be physically held by him, but you can receive his love in your heart by means of his Holy Spirit!
Forgiveness is such a hard topic to write on because it is one word, but it encompasses SO much!
Choosing to forgive and forget will ultimately take the weight and burden off of your shoulders and allow you peace.
God knows what hurt feels like! He watched his Son be crucified, by the very ones he was sent to save!
Just as I as a mother, hurt for my children when they suffer; God hurts for you!
God KNOWS what hurt and pain feels like! That is why he tells us to be like him and forgive and forget!
We have too! Otherwise, we will truly never be at peace and we will never truly appreciate Forgiveness ourselves!