For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. – Matthew 6:14 NKJV
The other day as I headed to my truck to pick up my son from daycare, I caught my breath when I saw a beautiful rainbow after a storm.
The rainbow is a reminder that God will never destroy the life on earth with a flood, as He did in the days of Noah.
Why did God forgive humanity and promise never again to flood the earth? It certainly wasn’t because humanity exercised their best behavior from that day forward. God is a God of mercy and grace. He forgive humanity even if they didn’t deserve it.
It may be difficult for us to forgive someone who hurt us, especially if they hurt us more than once.
We can demonstrate courage and improve the way people treat us by clearly communicating our boundaries and expectations, but we can’t prevent someone else from harming us again, even if we ask God to help us forgive that person.
Forgiveness gives us peace and decreases the conversations that we have in our heads about what we should have done or said in response to the wrongs done to us.
The people who harmed us never hear what we should have said, but God hears our thoughts, and He can transform our thoughts from obsessing over past harms and turn our eyes towards the divine purpose that Christ meant for us.
Forgiveness shifts our focus from the past to the present. Each time we return our minds to the present moment, we can remember that God gave us an ability to think and plan, and our cognitive abilities exceed those of any other creature in the animal kingdom. Our minds and our thoughts benefit from forgiveness. Only by forgiveness we can begin to heal. Amen.