We have been focusing on reconnecting with friends and family this week. We recognize that relationships are hard because they require so much of us to be successful — things like sacrifice, love, trust, vulnerability. All those things can be scary, especially when we have done those things for others and they did not reciprocate those actions.
Instead of being loved, we may have been rejected. Instead of being cared for, we were hurt by the very people that said they would never do that. Sometimes we are taken advantage of and tossed aside. All of those things happen. It can be devastating when we experience them, and they may leave us broken for a long time.
Because those things are common and difficult experiences, there is one spiritual discipline we must master both as receivers and givers. That discipline is forgiveness.
Forgiveness acknowledges the truth of the situation. It brings the hidden things to light. But then it does something special. It acknowledges the truth of the situation and says, “I will no longer be controlled or defined by that moment.” Forgiveness allows you to redefine the role that hurt will play in your life. Isaiah paints a beautiful picture, saying that all those who grieve can be given beauty for ashes, blessings for mourning, and praise instead of despair. That is the power of forgiveness. It provides a way forward.
Father, today we give you all the brokenness of our hearts. You can give blessings for brokenness. Help us receive those blessings. Help us not be afraid to pursue relationships and heal the broken things in our hearts. Thank you also for forgiving us. Renew in us the joy of that salvation. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.