Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13)
Forgiveness is like standing at the top of a tall lighthouse with an unobstructed view of vast landscape we’d only catch glimpses of while on the ground. It releases a burden and gives renewed perspective. When we extend forgiveness, we catch a glimpse of the vast beauty of God and His will.
After we forgive, we still have to live in the day-to-day reality of life. Our perspective has changed. We made the effort of carrying a burden up the stairs of the lighthouse. We’ve experienced the thrill of the unobstructed view. Now begins the journey down the steps. It’s seems easier than climbing up, but it still takes effort. We need to place our feet securely on each step. We get tired and dizzy as we wind downward. We might begin to wonder if the journey has been worth it.
When you extend forgiveness, life around you might not change. The coworker might still be mean. The family member might still mistreat you. The friend might continue to ignore you. You have a fresh perspective because of forgiveness, but you still live in the messiness of life. You might question the completeness of your forgiveness. You thought forgiveness would fix it all, and you’d no longer have to struggle.
Forgiveness is an action of the heart. Sometimes it takes a while for the heart to pump new passion and habits into our lives. Sometimes the journey of carrying the vast, beautiful perspective of forgiveness into the foundational level of life takes steps of effort. Take it one step at a time.
Acknowledge an area of forgiveness that’s still messy in your life. Be intentional in your next steps. Ask God to reveal where you are and what you need to do in the process of forgiveness.