In my book review on The Mercy I touched a little bit on forgiving and showing mercy, but this is something I want to delve into deeper because I feel it’s something we all can relate to.
We have all been in the position when someone you deeply care about does something to hurt you. Maybe it was an accident, maybe it was a misunderstanding, or maybe it was that person’s personal struggles coming to light. Whatever the origin of the wrongdoing may be; it is not an easy place to be.
The act of saying “I forgive you” is simple, just three little words. Just as easy as saying “I love you”. But the act of forgiving is rarely so simple.
In order to forgive, really forgive, you have to extend mercy and grace to the person who wronged you. Grace is defined as: an act of kindness or courtesy, an exemption. To show someone grace is to look past their faults, regardless of whether they deserve it or not. Mercy is: compassion shown to an offender, kindness extended to someone instead of strictness or severity. By extending mercy you are not showing someone the retribution or punishment they deserve.
In simpler terms; grace is getting what we don’t deserve, mercy is not getting what we do deserve.
The very human part of us has trouble being so open and vulnerable with someone, particularly someone who has hurt us after we have opened ourselves up to them. But when you forgive you not only free that person from guilt and shame, you free yourself from additional pain and take a big step towards healing.
When you forgive someone you are essentially saying: I don’t like what you did, but I love you more than I dislike what your mistake.
At times in my life I have struggled with forgiveness and showing grace. But then it hit me, I don’t deserve the blessing of love and salvation that God has given me through Jesus. If I can accept a gift that I do not deserve, then how can I withhold a lesser blessing from someone I love?
Forgiveness isn’t always easy, but it is always right.