Hearing ‘I’m sorry’, ‘I messed up’, ‘I feel terrible for what I did’ is like music to our ears. It feels good when someone acknowledges their wrongdoing towards you and oftentimes it makes it much easier to forgive them right?
But what if they never apologise. I mean, the reality is that some people will never apologise for their wrongs towards you and waiting on them to apologise before you forgive, will cost you your mental freedom. This is why we must…
Learn to forgive even without an apology.
This F-word is constantly thrown around in church, fellowship, Christian conversations, and blogs, but you will be surprised at how many Christians find this word offensive. It doesn’t make sense to forgive those who have no remorse. It defies our childlike understanding of basic manners – the staple of every conversation, yes, no, thank you, please and sorry.
Only people who are really striving to look and live more like God’s word concerning forgiveness are able to rise to the challenge of forgiveness. Forgiveness is not a fleshly activity, it is spiritual, but we often forgive expecting a fleshly response and so we become disheartened because the act of forgiving someone has not appeased our flesh.
As Christians, one of the core elements of our relationship with God is forgiveness. We would have no relationship with God if He did not reach out and forgive us, even in our sin. We would not have a relationship with Him, if Christ – God the Son, chose to wait for an apology from us before dying for our sins on the cross. God did not wait for an apology before forgiving us. ‘While we were STILL SINNERS, Christ died for us’ (Romans 5:8). The Lord’s Prayer includes, ‘Forgive us our trespasses AS WE (present continuous) forgive those that have trespassed against us’ …not those who have apologised to us.
Forgiveness is a weighty yet necessary call. It is the sign of a mature Christian. It is the sign of a Christian who truly understands what it means to forgive and is able to extend that same grace to others.
Forgiveness is hard when you try and do it out of your flesh. Forgiveness is easy when you do it out of God’s mercy.
Forgiveness is hard when you expect an apology. Forgiveness is easy when you extend grace.
Forgiveness does not excuse the offending behaviour. Forgiveness excuses the offender. The fact that God forgives us of sin, does not make sinning okay. The fact that we forgive someone of their sin towards us, does not make the sin okay. When we forgive, we are saying to that person, you are bigger and better than what you did against me. I choose to see you over the sin. In the same way, God’s forgiveness reaffirms our true new identity in Him. He sees us and not the sin.
I’ve wrestled with the F-word on many occasions and will certainly have moments where I crave an apology, but my resolve is to forgive, even without an apology. Will you do the same?
Thank you for reading! Its the summer holidays which hopefully means more blog posts. Thank you for your support – I hope you were blessed by this, as it has been in my drafts for a minute lol! With love, K x