That one word can be a tall order to fill. We can sit and ponder for hours on all of the hurt someone has caused us, allowing the pain to become infected with bitterness. I mean, it's human nature, right? Why not punish them over and over again in our hearts?
This is a message preached all the time, and it is something that we KNOW we must do...until it applies to us. We can easily justify our positions, claiming that this hurt cannot compare to another's and that the Lord would surely understand if we just hold onto this grudge for a little while. I ask you this then: what if He held grudges?
When in a situation that seems impossible to offer forgiveness, I feel reminded of all that the Lord has forgiven me. I think of all of the things for which I beg His forgiveness repeatedly (knowing that it is actually already forgiven, I just still wrestle with the shame)...and it shames me to think that another deserves justice while I DEPEND on mercy.
I don't know who may need to read this today, but I urge you to take hold of the bitterness and unforgiveness that you are struggling with and let it go. It may be more than a one-time thing, but it will be worth it every time. When we do not forgive them, He cannot forgive us. And no hurt is worth separating you from the Lord.
Father, re-living the pain we have faced makes it hard to forgive another, so please give us the grace to not hold them guilty anymore. Give us the ability to forgive as You did. We cannot do it on our own. In Jesus' Name. Amen.