I think one of the most difficult steps of recovery is the need to forgive…a difficult concept to fully embrace. Sometimes we can get caught up in the idea that if we forgive someone who has hurt us deeply we are letting them off the hook. But the fact of the matter is that the act of forgiveness is for us, not for them.
In my quiet time I have been reading about the need for forgiveness. In the book of Matthew Jesus teaches about prayer. Part of that teaching is the well known “Lord’s Prayer” – Matthew 6:9 – 13, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Colossians 3:13 says in the New Living Translation, “You must make allowances for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
So the study I am going through…”Living Beyond Yourself” by Beth Moore…gave me an interesting insight into the idea of ‘biblical forgiveness’. The Greek word for forgive is “aphiemi” which means “to let go from one’s power, possession, to let go free, let escape”. Quoting from the study…”The intent of biblical forgiveness is to cut someone loose. The word picture drawn by the Greek terms for unforgiveness is one in which the “unforgiven” is roped to the back of the back of the unforgiving (person). How ironic. Unforgiveness is the means by which we securely bind ourselves to that which we hate most. Therefore, the Greek meaning of forgiveness might best be demonstrated as the practice of cutting loose the person roped on your back.” This explanation clearly showed me why unforgiveness is so damaging. By not forgiving those who hurt us, we continue to drag them around with us wherever we go. That’s a lot of baggage to carry around. I understand why God wants us to forgive…it’s for our good. ~Marion