Why We Can Forgive
Many of us have been hurt by others during our life times. We carry resentment and un-forgiveness in our hearts towards those we perceive have treated us unkindly. Even though we know it is our Lord’s will that we forgive those who trespass against us we have wondered why we should and find it difficult to do so. Many of us have never fully understood why evil people are worthy of our forgiveness.
What I have come to believe is that people who hurt us are worthy of forgiveness because they “know not what they do.” In essence we are all influenced by demonic forces which cause us to do many things which are wrong. Sometimes we do small acts of unkindness and sometimes we really yield to the dark side and sin greatly against one another. The point is that, left to ourselves, we would probably not be nearly as awful and would in all likelihood refrain from hurting each other so frequently.
Therefore, it helps to understand that people who do bad things to us are under the influence of demonic spirits they are yielding to. Even though these people allow these spirits to manifest in ways that wound us it is really not entirely their fault. We are all caught in a whirl pool of sin which it is seeking to drag us down into the depths of hell. Some days you may be swimming stronger than the next person but in reality we are all caught in something we have little control over.
God sees that His children have been harmed by Satan and when they act out in ways that are not good He knows that they have been unfairly corrupted by the wicked one and so has grace towards them. While we were yet in our sins God gave His only begotten son to die in our stead because He understood that we are all snared in a web of deception that we cannot break free of ourselves.
It is Satan and his demonic horde that we war against and not merely the flesh and blood that they inhabit. We often times fail to recognize that the eyes, tongues, and hands of those who seek to harm us are motivated not by the person, but by the evil spirits that are controlling them. This is why a person who would not harm a flea might speak terrible words of unkindness to a loved one. Their core character may wish to be good but they have allowed demons to move through them to do evil.
In the broad perspective the whole human race was unfairly taken advantage of by Lucifer. God, knowing this, decided to show grace and mercy to us even though we deserved death. If God can show such unmerited favor to those who caused the whole human race to suffer for thousands of years it is a much lesser thing for us to forgive those who trespass against us.
Many find it easy to forgive others but some hold on to hurts and perceived injustices for a long time thinking that repentance must precede forgiveness. However, knowing that people are really not fully in control of themselves when they manifest demonic spirits helps us to focus on the true culprits of the crime. Indeed, many people that say hurtful words immediately find themselves remorseful of their words. Crushing guild overwhelms them but they are at a loss of what to do our say because the angry words have already left their mouths. This means that in their heart of hearts they never really felt the way the demons influenced them to speak and when the demonic influence leaves they come to their senses.
One note, forgiveness does not mean that we have to continue to allow people to treat us badly. If a person cannot stop allowing the demons to influence them do wrong it is proper to protect oneself. For instance, if a person has proven that they are unfaithful with finances, even though you forgive them, you are not obligated to trust them in that area of weakness again. Forgiveness does not mean we must be unwise.
In conclusion, we can forgive because those who seem to do us wrong are not really those who are responsible. We need to fight against the unseen spiritual wickedness in high places who are the real agents of chaos and show mercy to our brethren as God has shown mercy to us.