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Forgiveness: Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Matthew 5:34

Jesus Christ asked us to do a lot in the Bible but this one is probably the one command that most of us struggle with the most. The reality is that forgiving is not very easy. It doesn’t matter whether it was someone who cut you off in traffic or someone who hurt you deeply by affecting things like your finances or family.

The Sweet Pain of Bitterness

What many of us fail to realize is that we are trapped by the false gratification we get from bitterly holding both big and small injustices over the heads of our wrongdoers. It gives this sickly-sweet sense of satisfaction that we are better than them somehow. But it is all an illusion.

If Jesus Christ Himself could find it in His heart to forgive and pray for the men who literally crucified Him, then it might not be too tall of an order for us.

The power of forgiveness

There are countless stories of forgiveness in the Bible from Joseph’s mercy on his once abusive brothers to Jesus’ numerous encounters where He extended grace to everyone from tax collectors and prostitutes to adulterers whose choices had hurt His Father in Heaven.

You may argue that these were incredible men of faith with unique connections to God. How are you as a lowly human meant to emulate them right? Well, let’s take a look at a more recent touching story about the power of forgiveness.

A young Colombian man named Didier witnessed the fatal shooting of his mother at the tender age of 11 years old. The trauma from the incidence and the bitterness towards the perpetrator led him down a dark path full of crime and drug abuse.

Thoughts of vengeance consumed him, and he spent the better part of the second decade of his life fantasizing about getting his revenge up until he got his chance.

In a case of mistaken identity, Didier confronted a man he thought responsible for the actions. But the suspect’s reaction broke down the thick layer of bitterness that had for years consumed Didier’s heart.

All of a sudden, it didn’t matter anymore, and forgiveness seemed like the only path. So he took it and has not looked back since. Now Didier works with youth in his community addressing past trauma and bitterness and teaching them the power of forgiveness.

Nothing to lose and everything to gain

Forgiveness is truly not easy. However, we lose absolutely nothing from it other than the bitterness we grow to love and get addicted to over the years. On the other hand, there is so much to gain.

First off, you will have a sense of peace. The burden of anger and hurt is very heavy to bear and there is truly nothing that can compare to the comfort and peace we get from letting it all go.

You are not the only one with a lot to gain from forgiveness. Your choice to let go of the bitterness might just unlock your potential to help so many other people going through the same. That kind gesture might also be the trigger needed for your wrongdoer’s redemption arc.

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