WHEN SHOULD I FORGIVE?
Forgiving is easier said than done. Ultimately, we should forgive right away but due to extreme circumstances often we cannot, then again, we are only humans after all. We think we need to come to terms and reconcile the events in our heads and our hearts before we come close to any kind of forgiving thought. For the most part, when we are going through our own catastrophe, forgiveness is the furthest thing from our mind. Going over it in your head, in an attempt to do this leads to more pain. There are some things that we cannot reconcile. This is why forgiveness is so hard under these circumstances.
When Jesus was on the cross He said an amazing statement. In Luke 23:34; Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Now, just to put that in perspective, this was Jesus. The Son of God. The only one who had never done any wrong. He was hanging on the cross after being beaten beyond recognition, ridiculed, whipped 39 times across his back with a whip with rocks at the end of each of the leather strands gorging through his skin, spat on, humiliated, had a crown of thorns thrust onto his head and then had the prospect of being separated from His Father, the one person that He had always had a connection with, as he took on our sins and sicknesses and dealt with them. He then, asked His Father to forgive, not just the people who were physically killing him there and then, but also all the people that would be born afterwards, including you and me.
Jesus forgave as he was going through the pain. He did not wait until he was raised from the dead, taken up to heaven or until years later when the pain had subsided a little! He did it while he was on that tree! We are called to be Christ like, that should speaks for itself and we know that we are commanded to forgive. (Luke 6:37, Ephesians 4:32) We are only human and we must not condemn ourselves for being so, but we must make that choice to forgive as soon as possible so we can begin to enjoy the freedom that comes along with forgiveness. We do not have to punish ourselves either, because we feel guilty that our children had to go through this abuse. Jesus paid the price already we do not have to again and again and again. Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.