Forgiveness Is A Sacrifice

 

I recently have been extremely hurt by one of my daughters. She came to me in a moment of extreme trouble. After receiving much love and offers of help, she returned to her home and repaid my love by calling me a liar and exaggerator to all the family. I cannot adequately explain the depth of sadness it caused me except to liken it to a death. Which it is really- a death of trust and closeness. A feeling of betrayal and bewilderment. I drank in the feelings and wallowed in sadness and anger for a few days, feeling completely justified in doing so. However, I was finding that my joy in all other things was being stifled by my unforgiveness, bitterness and self-pity.

So I played worship music in my early morning devotions, and allowed the music to soothe my troubled soul. I read through my favourite psalms and allowed God’s Word to be as the Balm of Gilead to me. I cried, prayed and meditated on forgiveness- for that is what I had to do- I had to forgive my daughter. At first the conviction that I had to forgive her made me baulk- I had a right to be angry and hurt and I wanted her to suffer by feeling alienated from me for a time. But gradually I came to see that I really was hurting myself more than anyone else. And I was hurting the LORD. For surely He had more reason than me to feel hard-done by, rejected by men and women whom He had served and loved and ministered to. Betrayed with a kiss. Abandoned and rejected as a blasphemer-whipped for transgressions that He never committed. Crucified in our place in an agonizing death, feeling separated and rejected from His Father, our Father! I was feeling far away from God as I nurtured my hurts. So in an act of sheer faith and obedience, I forgave my daughter and left the feelings of hurt and betrayal at Christ’s feet. I felt lighter inside, but still unhappy at what had passed between us. I am trusting God to heal the remaining hurts.

 

It took a real effort on my part to be kind to her when she phoned me recently, but I am believing that in time, God will help me with this as well. It isn’t easy- forgiveness. In fact it is sometimes the hardest thing we can be called on to do. But in choosing to forgive, I chose freedom. I said ‘no’ to bitterness, anger and revengeful thoughts, and ?’yes’ to forgiveness, love and reconciliation. If I never feel quite as close to my daughter as I did in the past, at least I have done my part. I have forgiven and it was a sacrifice- forgiveness is never easy and doesn’t come cheap. Just take a look at what it cost our LORD. Forgiveness is always a sacrifice. But the alternative is becoming bound up in roots of bitterness and anger. I chose freedom. I owe it to Jesus Who sacrificed His all to set us free. And it feels good. His ways are always good!           

 

It’s A Sacrifice

 

 

A limp figure hangs dying on a tree

After praying for strength in Gethsemane-

Drank the cup and then paid the price-

Forgiveness is not cheap,

It’s a sacrifice.

 

 

Glenys Robyn Hicks 1998

 

 

'Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you'  Colossians 3:13

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