The saying, “We usually hurt the ones we love the most,” is as true today as the day it was spoken. Most people don’t intentionally mean to hurt others, but sometimes they do. Revenge, vindictiveness and spite are dangerous bedfellows. When either of these bedfellows strikes a person down, the impact is felt almost immediately. The recipient has little recourse but to respond in kind or muster the courage to forgive.
If the first course is to respond in kind, then a cycle begins with no end. Years pass and a lot of damage accumulates. Each person wearies from being a punching bag for the other. If the second course is followed, then the hurt has a chance to heal. But someone must take that first step toward extending to another one of the greatest gifts of all – forgiveness.
However, sometimes we cannot forgive another unless we first believe we are forgiven. It is here where something – or someone – outside ourselves and greater than ourselves can show us how to forgive. For Christians, forgiveness is not some abstract concept; it is the embodiment of a person with a name . . . Jesus.