Forgiving the “Unforgivable”

Forgiveness. It’s an essential part of Christian living but— while we all appreciate the beauty of being forgiven and the richness of God’s grace— showing forgiveness can be more difficult when you’re the one that has been hurt.

In my historical fiction novel Twiceborn, I zoom in on the emotional battle that often rages within Christians when we’re hurt in an “unforgiveable” way. Skyla, the protagonist, ultimately teaches us that the key to moving towards forgiveness lies in seeing beyond what the person has done to why  they have done it.

When we’re hurt, we often focus on how we are feeling-and quite reasonably so. But that’s not the approach that Jesus took. As He hung from Calvary’s cross, He looked beyond the fact that His own people had rejected Him and saw the reason why.

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
-Luke 23:34

I’d like to emphasize the “…for they know not what they do” part. Here Christ’s words show that He had gone beyond the fact that He was being murdered to the reality that those responsible for His death were oblivious to their wrongdoing. What a powerful message that sends to us!

When you’re struggling emotionally with forgiveness, look beyond the pain you feel to understanding why the other person has done wrong.  This kind of thinking is revolutionary, perhaps even  intimidating, because it forces us to look at ourselves in a more critical light in a time when we want to be comforted.

But pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone may be the only way to actually make a positive difference in our lives. 

If your spouse has said/done something terrible, could there possibly be an area in your life where you can better meet his/her needs? If you’re struggling with a rebellious adolescent who shows you no respect, perhaps he/she is trying to tell you that they need more of your time.

As humans we often lash out instead of finding appropriate ways to express how we feel. Unfortunately this means that both the person hurting and the instigator of the pain are probably saying/acting in ways that they’re both going to regret. Instead of doing that just


Then prayerfully take a step back and try to see why not what. When you can do that, then you’ll find that you’ll find that the “un” can be erased and you’ll be left with something that is……forgivable.

JP Robinson

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