Struggling with Forgiveness


By Jill Briscoe

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  ~ Ephesians 4:32

Paul tells us that love “keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Cor. 13:5). Love doesn’t pick fights, but it also doesn’t keep a running record of someone else’s wrongs. 

When someone has hurt us, perhaps verbally, and those cruel words have been said and have lodged in our thinking, it is hard not to keep a running record on the one who caused us so much pain. Paul says we need to mature past this. As we grow up in Christ, we should be able to learn the art of forgiving those who hurt and harm us, not keeping them accountable forever. This is certainly easier preached than practiced. It is awfully hard not to harbor a grudge, yet love lets go of the wrongs done to it. Forgiveness relinquishes the right to vengeance. Vengeance belongs to God, and He will repay. Justice needs to be done, and we can expect people to be accountable for crimes and wrongs done, but vengeance is not our business. 

The Bible says, “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him” (Luke 17:3). But what if he doesn’t repent? Then I hold myself ready to say, “I forgive you” if the time ever comes, but in the meantime, I refuse to harbor anger, bitterness, or resentment.

We cannot keep an account of every sin. The Lord requires us to forgive no matter what the injury. 

Lord, I am never more tempted to do wrong than when I have been wronged. Help me to keep in step with Your Spirit as I walk through this relational hurt. I have to confess that I am struggling with forgiveness - in fact, I don’t want to forgive, I want to nurse the hurt. Remind me of how much You have forgiven me and give me Your supernatural strength to not only forgive this person who has hurt me, but to keep no record of the wrong. I need Your strength and power today. Amen. 

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