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“It’s ok. I forgive you.”
This is a bad thing. A very bad thing that we learn when we are young. That to forgive means to say, “Hey…it’s okay that you did that….no big deal.” Forgiveness does not make the act that was perpetrated okay.
Our misunderstanding of forgiveness often keeps us from forgiving. This means that where forgiveness should be living in us and healing our souls, unforgiveness festers instead. It rots our soul flesh and turns into bitterness, resentment, and eventually hatred.
Unforgiveness is soul rot.
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. — 1 Peter 2:23
The beginning of the verse focuses on what Jesus DIDN’T do. He didn’t lower Himself to their level. He didn’t deal in lesser spiritual or emotional guerilla warfare. We can often execute this part to a certain extent. The thing is that sometimes we think we are forgiving when we white-knuckle ourselves into not behaving badly but we ignore the second half of the verse entirely.
The latter part of the verse focuses on what He DID do. He entrusted Himself to God…Who sees all…knows all…and wastes nothing. What does it mean to entrust ourselves? It means that we radically release the responsibility of the punishment of our offenders to Him who saw all of it…knows all of it…and wastes nothing. This takes trust. Hence the word, “entrust”. Trust in. This takes trust. This takes faith.
Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”– Matthew 9:29
We won’t have the freedom that release results in if we don’t decide to entrust ourselves . to Him. Essentially it is the same for us as it was the for the blind that Jesus touched in Matthew 9….according to our faith, we will be healed. This doesn’t mean that we have to say it’s ok. I will never say that rape is ok. It was not okay that I was raped. God doesn’t think so either. God would never condone rape. But He and I both know that I have forgiven my attackers. Here’s why: I recognize that evil had warped and broken them…this distortion of who they had become…who they were that night may have been partially done TO them…but what they did with their brokenness that night was completely their own choice and responsibility. For a long time, I did not trust God to deal with them for many reasons. Someday I will write about that, but not today. The truth is that I could never punish them as justly as God because He has ultimate authority and will deal the ultimate verdict. His grace only comes through the blood of Christ. Outside of that, grace does not exist. The more I trust in His authority, the freer I feel of the snarled claws that used to penetrate the flesh of my soul. Unforgiveness allows the enemy’s claws to pierce my countenance and destroy my peace. Then my attackers and their actions would continue to follow me everywhere…weighing me down every day. Forgiveness is an act of trust in God. I release them to God.
who judges justly. — 1 Peter 2:23
Grace isn’t cheap. God isn’t stupid nor is He fooled. He is trustworthy.
And you can be free.
Do what you do to connect with Him: talk, compose, write, or run…and while doing so, pray through these types of things:
God, these are the people or the situations that I have not trusted You to deal with the way I want. I do not think that you will deal with them well. Here is why:____________.
Help me believe that You are trustworthy….that You do care about my pain. I want the healing that comes from release. I want the claws off of my soul.
Be naked honest. Then listen over the next few days. You’ll see or hear or have your eyes opened. Don’t give up or be deterred. Trust. It’s a process and the enemy will try to dissuade you. Stay the course. Keep being naked honest and keep watching and listening for Him to communicate with you.