Why Is Forgiveness So Hard to Offer?

Why Is Forgiveness So Hard to Offer? Pink flower behind the words.
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Have you ever wondered why forgiveness is so hard to offer?

Releasing situations and offering forgiveness often mimics a puppy attempting to wriggle its way out of clutched hands. We hold tight, refusing to allow it to go.

We grasp that hurt and offense, and we cling to blame like static cling causes a dress to cling the leg mid-winter.

But why?

Does it further the Kingdom of God? Does withholding forgiveness bring glory to the Lord? And goodness, do our escalating desires drop one ounce of peace upon the heart?


I’m the one who, from time to time, wrestles with the emotions that chime, “You’re justified.”

But the notion remains a lie.

My life is not my own. I was bought at a price. You were too.

And the one who paid our price offered some turn-your-world-upside-down words that will change life. We’re wise to remember those words this Easter, today, next year, and for the rest of our lives.

“Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.’”
Luke 23:34a WEB

Father, forgive them: three simple words, remnants of Jesus’ walk on earth, ready-made syllables available for you and I to utter and offer freely.

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Why Forgive?

Often, when God’s wisdom settles in my heart and I look further into a situation, I see an offender who is struggling with their own spiritual battle. I’m called to love and gather myself in prayer.

The Bible contains truth. It assures our battles are not against flesh and blood.

We decide if the Bible is true and if God is good. Because our good God assures that forgiveness proves right.

Through Jesus’ sacrifice, He offered it to you and me.

Although man will fall prey and sin, causing pain that often sears others too, our battles roar due to darkness, not people. (Mind you, societal accountability remains. That’s not the premise here.)

The struggle to offer forgiveness sits smack in the middle of a spiritual battle. Fight accordingly.

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How to Fight to Forgive

  • We fight with prayers and utterances that call on the power and strength of our victor, our God. We call on God.

That’s how we fight to forgive.

  • We refuse to take offense.

That’s also how we fight to forgive.

  • We intentionally choose prayer.

And in my case, I pray for “them” and “me.” Because God knows the filth floating around in my heart, and the sheer fact that I hiccuped with forgiveness offers evidence my heart has a prayer need, too.

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Jesus Forgave

And that’s what Jesus did. He prayed.

A wronged man, one treated unjustly if ever there was a man caught in seemingly wrong circumstances, he prayed for the offending party. Because they didn’t realize what they were doing to him.

Often, due to the lense of strongholds and our own battles within, we fail to realize what we’re doing to others. And they to us.

But there’s always space for grace and opportunity to forgive–if we set aside offense, that dogged refusal to forgive, and blame.

Jesus did. He died on the cross to cover and erase the power of our sins.

Thank God he kept no record of wrongs but simply loved. Can you imagine if he wagged a finger in blame or harbored offense?

And what if he chose a path opposite forgiveness? Yikes! We’d be in trouble. There’d be no heaven for us.

But God forgave. Hope remains.

If there’s a need for forgiveness in your own life, will you thread hope by offering to forgive? Peace awaits.

If you’re not certain Jesus is your Savior, that your sins have been forgiven and you’re heaven-bound, scroll to the bottom of this page–to the “Filled” portion. You’ve been forgiven, and God calls the grace abounding more than sufficient.

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  1. I am in need of forgiveness as I hold resentment in my heart towards some following the death of one friend, then a second just over a month apart. I was at there bedside as they took their last breath, one free..the other?

    1. I’m so sorry, Marissa. It’s hard to lose a friend, let alone two. I hope it’s okay if I pray with you?
      Father, heal these wounds. Ripen forgiveness in Marissa, and squelch any hardheartedness that has attempted to infiltrate. We love you and praise Your holy name, Jesus, amen.