It is so painful when I see that my sinful choices have caused others pain and grief.
It hurts even worse when, after I repent, they choose to stay bitter, destroying their own lives further.
We may understand why they cling to bitterness because it feels, to them, that they are somehow making me pay for my crime, that they are protecting themselves from further hurt, that forgiveness would be tantamount to saying that what I did to them was trivial.
I remember a young man who was wasting his life in drugs and sex and talked his girlfriend into the same life. He then went on to find freedom in the Lord Jesus but she went on to die from the drugs. He found it hard to accept forgiveness, since, if he had not pulled her in, she might have still been alive and nothing he could do would bring her back.
I’m sure the apostle Paul can relate, when he affirmed that ” everyone should realize that I Paul am the worst sinner that ever lived ” He had killed Christians, they were dead, no hope of bringing them back. He could have wallowed in self-contempt and we would be missing much of the New Testament and the western spread of Christianity.
I can assure you that God not only forgives me but he loves to bring good from my evil for his glory. He loves to help me bring healing into the damage I have done, if the other’s freewill allows it.
Here is an important question. When I sin and others are caused pain and loss—1.Who is sinned against? 2.Who is the victim of the sin? 3.Who stands to be blessed by the event?
Psalms 53:1-4 KJV Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy
lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot
out my transgressions.
Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
So WHO IS SINNED AGAINST? I did NOT sin against the person hurt, I sinned against God, that is why he is justified in forgiving me and I are justified in accepting that forgiveness, whether the other is able to forgive or not. Psalms 51:4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.WHO IS THE VICTIM?: I am the one damaged by my sin unless I run to God for mercy.
2 Corinthians chapter one 1-7. Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.WHO STANDS TO GAIN?: The one hurt will find that the suffering caused is a blessing to them, if, of course they flee to God for strength crying out help! thanks for this! Show me your will! If the one hurt is truly damaged, it is always because of his sinful response to the pain inflicted. This is not an excuse for me to sin so others may grow but rather a focus of prayer that God might have mercy on me and on them to turn the hurt into beauty. My sins sent my creator to the cross and yet I have been forgiven, cleansed, adopted and married to the very one I offended. I must ask for forgiveness from God and the offended ones. If they are not ready to grant it, I still need to accept God’s forgiveness and still seek to make amends, get the help to quit sinning and be ready to reestablish relationship and move on with wonder-filled gratitude!