.Devotions from Haase’s book Living the Lord’s Prayer
To be sensitive to the hurt of another’s heart is the essence of merciful compassion. Our very eyes can show compassion to another, even when they are not asking for forgiveness.
In trying to understand the hearts of others and accepting them with compassion, we sometimes discover that what we thought was intentional was never intended. But if harm was intended it challenges us to offer mercy and forgiveness as many times as need be.
As God’s forgiveness is limitless, so we are not to tire of sharing with others what we ourselves have enjoyed.
Sometimes we want to forgive but are so hurt we just don’t know how. Like Corrie ten Boom , we may need to ask the Lord for His forgiveness for someone who has hurt us and our loved ones so greatly. It is more than an act of the will, it is a grace from God. It may come quickly or it may take some time.
We can ask ourselves, “What am I gaining if I hang on to this hurt? What need is it satisfying in me?” Often grudges are only the tip of an iceberg that point to deeper things. Maybe we think hanging on to a lingering past hurt justifies a pity party or the emotional need to be a victim.
But these wounds can be transformed into the marks of resurrection when our desire for revenge is converted into mercy and forgiveness. As we forgive these wounds can become our victory sign of God’s healing power!