Forgiveness is divine. That does not mean that it is is any way easy to execute. Forgiving someone who has hurt you demands an acute analysis of the situation. Could you forgive someone who called you a bad name the same as you could forgive someone who physically harmed your child? But Christ is not asking us to analyze acutely. He is stating a hard Truth rooted in simplicity. Namely, that forgiveness is divine. And, in its divinity, we should, therefore, be divine. Allow His divinity to enter into your heart. In doing so, your heart will undergo a transformation.
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins
Our Limited Capacity
We exist in a limited capacity. Our minds and hearts are limited by how we are able to conceive of this world, of ourselves, and of the cultural contexts in which we must live the story of our lives. And all of us are constrained by our own selves. To forgive is to open ourselves to the ability to be healed. Forgiving does not mean that any wrongdoing is wiped away and forgotten, but it means that the wrongdoing is put in its proper place. That is, the wrongdoing is dealt with and accepted. This does not mean that forgiveness is always a form of acceptance, but forgiveness is certainly a turning toward the present moment. And, more than this, it is a going-within the present moment, going beyond the present moment to a timeless space in the heart.
In forgiving, we are cleansing our heart. Our prayers are not caught up in any shroud of hate or any worldly attachment. To let go is to forgive and to forgive is to let go. I don’t think Christ is being naive in this proclamation. In fact, forgiving demands a great inner strength. If you’ve ever had the experience of trying to pray while steeped in hate, you’ll understand. And, approached from a different angle, forgiving those who have wronged us turns our attention toward our imperfections, towards our own difficulties. In forgiveness, we admit we are in need of Christ’s medicine.
The Difficulty of Opening Our Heart
Finally, in forgiving those who wronged us, we immediately come face to face with the difficulties of opening our heart. But it’s this genuine openness that Christ inhabits and allows us to partake in freely. He does not hold grudges against us. Therefore, we should not hold grudges against others.
Clear Your Mind: Forgiveness is Divine
Clear your mind before you pray. If you are holding onto any kind of hateful thoughts, let them go. Forgive yourself and forgive those who have wronged you. Step outside of yourself and in doing so you will go deeper within yourself to that Christ-centered space that has taken shape within your heart. Let that space fill you with the peace that passes all understanding. For, truly, forgiveness is a form of peace that passes all understanding.