Proverbs 8:1 Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?
"I forgive you. Completely." This is the answer that should come from our lips, but most often these words do not make it past our mind because we are not ready to forgive completely. We want God's grace and forgiveness in our own lives, but we want the judgment of God on those who have harmed us.
I was talking with a married couple who were talking about something that had happened over twenty-five years ago and in the middle of the sentence the woman turned to her husband and said, "Don't you remember that time when you called me a #@!!#$@?" He looked at me with that look that says, "When is this ever going to be forgiven, I have apologized for this every time she brings it up." I wanted to leave the room because you could cut the air as they say.
I do not believe she knew how to just let it go or hand it over to God for Him to dissolve the memory of her hurt. It was causing a strain in their relationship. 1 Cor. 13:5 Love does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Forgiving, completely, is just that; completely forgiving the wrong, just as Christ forgave us completely and entirely. Col. 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. We might have to say it out loud a few times to get used to the words, "I forgive you. Completely!." Again, "I forgive you. Completely!"
It is wisdom to forgive completely. How do I know that? God is pure wisdom and He forgave everyone completely. Through God's Son Jesus Christ we can accept forgiveness and be at peace with God and ourselves. If God forgave us completely, then this is the right thing to do. God asks us to be forgiving as He is. Rom. 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Someone will say, "This is easy for you to say, "Forgive completely. Just try and forgive what I have been through." I'm sorry, but that argument does not work. There will always be someone on earth who has gone through unthinkable hurts and violations beyond our imagination. These people have experienced something worst than the next person. If that is the measurement, then nothing will ever be forgiven as it will only create an argument as to who hurts more than the next person and nothing will get fixed and no opportunity for repentance will ever be available.
God says to step up to the plate and be the first to forgive, then the real blessing of Christianity will start. Eph. 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. When did the blessing of the new birth start? After forgiveness came through the cross. First, there was a desire in God's heart to forgive, then He sent Jesus to be the atoning work that gave us His forgiveness.
The wisdom of God compels us to forgive, because the nature of His Son Jesus now lives within us. Just take a close look inside your heart when you allow anger, rage and declarations of revenge with that someone who has done a terrible thing to you. Do you have God's peace? Do you have your Joy? Do you even have your blessed assurance? No, because you are no longer that old character you once were before Christ started changing your heart.
You cannot go back to that way of thinking without losing something of quality in your soul. 2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Will this be hard for some? Yes, it will be, but oh the power of God that comes from forgiving the one who kept you miserable. There will be no more reason for the blame-game that the enemy of your soul keeps reminding you of. The moment you forgive, you will also destroy the works of the devil. No wonder he helps you remember your hurt. James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Think of that person who needs your forgiveness and say out loud, "I forgive you. Completely." Keep saying it until you believe it, then enjoy the Lord's peace in your soul. Blessings.