“Not everyone is meant to stay in your life.”
A statement you hear from your friend when going through a breakup. Or maybe when you’re actually going through a friend breakup. It’s true though, that not everyone will stay in your life. People will leave + they will walk in and then walk back out. You can’t always stop them and sometimes it’s happening right in front of us but we don’t even see it. But other times, it’s actually our choice and we remove them. Either way, I have learned that in the end, forgiveness is a choice and it’s a choice I choose to make. Whether I choose to voice that out loud or within my heart, I choose to forgive.
In the past though, forgiveness has brought me heartache. The Lord tells us to forgive and I’ve grown up my entire Christian life knowing that this is important. I’ve forgiven those who have hurt me physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. I actually do get told often, that I apologize and I forgive too much. How does that work? How is it possible that “apologizing or forgiving” is “too much.” Perhaps it’s the way I continue to let the hurt happen to me in a never-ending circle. You see, I’m a doormat and I’m aware of it + I know that I let others hurt me. And for some sadistic reason, I allow it to continue repeatedly. I allow people to use every fiber of my being and when I can no longer stretch myself any thinner, I begin to apologize for it. I begin to forgive them for abusing me and I try to stretch further and further. Until one day, I will snap. I’ve seen the future me and I’m broken and I’m tired. But I continue to choose forgiveness.
Some may say to themselves, “Bryce, you are a damn fool. You don’t have to forgive those who hurt you. You can stop saying your sorry.” But then I open my bible and my heart and the Lord tells me, “Bryce, forgive them as I have forgiven you.” Colossians 3:13
Because I too have said and done things that were wrong and hurtful. I’ve said things I never thought I was capable of and I’ve done things I knew that I shouldn’t. Every single time I’ve known or didn’t know that I’ve hurt someone, I’ve asked God to forgive me. Maybe not right away, maybe I let it brew inside me for a while or I’ve talked about it with others first, but I always come back and tell God how sorry I am and to forgive me. Then I try to be better. That’s the thing people, we are born sinners. We make mistakes and other people make mistakes. We are scarlet and bruised, but God makes us white as snow. He died on the cross for each and every one of our low points. So I choose to forgive and I choose to ask for forgiveness. Then I try to move forward. I know that I will never be perfect, but I can sure try to be better.
Usually I go back to the same circle, but lately I’ve been working really hard at breaking that. Seeing myself so tired and broken is not the way I want to live. I don’t want to move backwards and allow the hurt to happen again. So it’s ok to let people go. It’s ok to say, “You know what? I forgive you and I want the best for you, but we can’t keep hurting each other.” And then instead of removing them from your life, you just simply let them go and say it’s ok. And know inside your heart, that IT IS OK TO LET PEOPLE GO. Don’t waste your time wishing bad things upon them. It’s ok to not be as close as you were before, but don’t become bitter.
Pastor Josh told us on Sunday that we need to show others an unconditional love – Agape. We don’t have to be best friends, but we need to love one another regardless of circumstances. 1 Peter 4:8 says “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” And then 2 Peter 3:18 says “But grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever, Amen!”
So I guess what I’m trying to say is this, It’s ok to let people go. We learn from our mistakes and we learn from one another. Go towards the future knowing that forgiveness is something bigger than just an action. God forgave us for all our sins and He died for us. So when you forgive someone, forgive. Don’t hold it against them forever, because God doesn’t hold our mistakes against us forever. Wish people the best, even if they aren’t your best friend anymore. Don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of, and don’t allow people to abuse you.
The right people will walk into your life and stay.