We hear the phrase “off his chest” often. This makes me think about how we like to tell people to vent more than we tell them to forgive. It is easy to tell someone how you feel but it is far more difficult to forgive them for the pain they have inflicted.
Expressing your uncensored honest feelings can be more destructive than we may have planned for. I am not against being honest but there are a number of factors to consider before opening your mouth and allowing anything roll out. The hardest thing is putting the person that hurt you above your own feelings. The question is when you are speaking to this person are you wrapped up in your own feelings or are you seeking to make the situation and the relationship right?
I want to talk about what forgiving isn’t. It is not giving someone a blank check and allowing them to treat you in any way they wish. It isn’t a desperate act to keep them in your life. Forgiveness is a divine action. God the Father sent Jesus to take on our sin and pay that price so that our relationship can be made right with God. He did this even when we weren’t even concerned about a relationship with Him. He reached out to us. Still, He is not going to force us into a relationship. God also hasn’t allowed his act of forgiveness to compromise his righteousness. He crossed the boundaries and paid the high price to make it right. So remember forgiveness isn’t a loss of integrity, but showing the fullness of your integrity. You are seeking to make your relationship right with the other person. Still, you can’t make that person do there part. It is easy to become bitter when you make strives to mend a relationship and the other person refuses. This is just another thing to forgive. Sometimes those relationships will never be mended and all we can do is pray for them and wait. Some relationships have to be put on pause so that you or the other person can heal or get stronger.
Venting is the easy thing to do. Forgiving the right way requires divine assistance. We can soldier on or try to ignore the problem, but to let the hurt go and move towards that person is beyond our natural ability. We want to vent because we want them to understand our hurt, but we must make the hard choice to forgive. The secret to true healing comes when you forgive someone and allow God to change the way you think, act and feel. You don’t give your hurt to the person that hurt you, but to God who can actually do something with it.