Have you ever hurt someone’s feelings and needed to apologize but couldn’t find the right words or weren’t sure how they would respond? Or maybe you went to them to say you were sorry, but they wouldn’t accept your apology. Perhaps, you had a disagreement with someone and they wanted you to apologize but you didn’t feel that you had said or done anything wrong. Did you offer an apology anyway?
Maybe you were the one who was hurt by something someone said or did to offend you. Did you expect an apology from them? If they apologized, did you accept it and continue your relationship, or did you decide that it wasn’t worth the effort and cut them out of your life? What did you do if they never said they were sorry? Can a friendship or family relationship remain strong if apologies are never said when problems arise or hurtful things are said or done?
There are many verses in the Bible that refer to the topic of forgiveness. In the Book of Mark, chapter 11, verse 25 (NKJV), Jesus said: “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”
In my Prayer Jar Devotional: Forgiveness, I mentioned that according to Webster’s Dictionary, the word forgive means “to grant pardon for or to.” The Greek word translated forgiveness means “to let go,” as when a person doesn’t demand payment for a debt.
Did you know that when we’re unwilling to forgive, it can make us feel physically and spiritually sick? Sadly, some people hold on to their anger towards someone for years, allowing it to control their thoughts and behavior. Forgiveness has the power to heal both parties involved. Emotional and spiritual healing begins when we choose to forgive.
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 5:32 (NKJV).