The Difficulty of Forgiveness

eye tear

The act of forgiveness requires two things:  mercy and justice.  It is impossible to divide love from absolute purity and goodness.  Is this not why hearts offended beat in turmoil? The heart gasps from the plunge of the sword into its warm, life-giving strength and feels the pain searing deep into the most secret, vulnerable and intimate places.  The heart weeps bloody tears because of the betrayal.  Bravely, it erects strong, steely barriers of protection to shield its Self from further injury.   Is this why the ancient struggle surrounding estranged hearts exists?  As much as one might want a relationship to be restored, we cannot do the required delicate and intricate heart surgery needed for both sides of the parties involved.  Let’s say my heart has been brought to a place of forgiveness, and I choose to forgive the person who has wronged me.  I can choose to relate to the person with a heart of forgiveness, but I have no capability to affect change in the other person.  Forgiveness only leads to reconciliation when both parties have experienced heart changes.

Jesus teaches about forgiveness and helps us dissect the heart.  His teaching reveals the heart’s greatest need.  Against external deeds of wrongdoing, Jesus offers a spectacular forgiveness.  It is unlike any other offer of forgiveness; for Jesus testifies, “I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people.” (Matthew 12:31).  He strongly states that there is no particular external deed that is off limits to the power of Jesus’s free forgiveness. Simply put, there is no offense so great that it cannot be forgiven by God. No matter what the offense, nothing will put a person outside the reach of Jesus’s all encompassing embrace of forgiveness and healing.  Jesus is the ultimate forgiver.

Yet, Jesus also acknowledges the perplexity of forgiveness when he says, “Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.” (Matthew 12:32).  Here the knife of dissection moves internally to analyze the heart.

Unless a person confesses that he or she has done something wrong, they can never undo the damage.

Although I am completely incapable of affecting another person’s heart or affecting change on both sides of the conflict; God is able to not only forgive and justify the sinner, but he is also able to breathe life into the soul clinging to dust.  The Spirit of God informs the heart of its great offense, and the heart must listen and admit its wrongdoing (John 16:8). Jesus is basically saying that the Holy Spirit speaks truth, and a heart must turn and agree with his verdict.  A heart must not deny or speak against the truth spoken.  But, when the heart of man denies its part, blameshifts the wrong, and uses self-justifying excuses, there is no other remedy.  

is the key
that unlocks the heart
wrapped in denial.

Proverbs 27.19


A heart must desire forgiveness before intimacy will be restored.
Is your heart listening or resisting
words of healing and life?
Any wrong can be healed,
but without humility
nothing can be healed.


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