Why is it so hard to forgive someone? Why does forgiveness hurt so much and seem impossible sometimes? Forgiveness is hard and seems impossible when you try to do it your way and expect situations to mend in your time.
When I think back to a time when I was so upset I found it difficult to forgive someone, I know it was my ego at work. How dare someone treat me that way, hurt me, betray me, or judge me? Yes, it was all about me and what was done to me and what was owed to me. I knew I needed to forgive and let it go, but my offender was not making it easy by not living up to my standards. There were some things my offender needed to do or change before I could forgive, and the sooner the better. That was forgiveness my way and on my terms and it didn’t work for two reasons. First because I was being self-centered and second because I wanted to control the timing.
Forgiving someone or asking for forgiveness will always feel gut wrenching when you take the self-centered approach and expect things to happen in your time. Once I began to really delve into God’s word, I learned I had it all wrong. My way and my terms never got me closer to a forgiving and healing heart; if anything it got me further away. God’s word taught me that in order to work through the process of forgiving, I have to be humble and I have to leave room for His divine intervening hand.
Being humble (the opposite of self-centered) is the best way to deal with your ego problem. Once I got off my high horse and humbled myself before God, I realized my time was better spent dealing with my hardened heart than festering on what was wrong with my offender. God calls me to bear with others and forgive any grievance I have against them (Colossians 3:13), not continue to judge them and hold grudges because I can’t get over the injustice that was done to me.
I also learned I need to leave room in my life for God’s divine intervention and accept that His timing is always superior. Psalm 37:7 says, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” and Psalm 37:28 says, “For the Lord loves justice.” There is no way I could love justice more than God, so that tells me if I wait patiently He will deliver all the justice I will ever need, but He will do so in His time, not mine.