Today, I have asked myself this question too many times to count.
I struggled with the idea of forgiving someone who hurt me, as I thought they did not deserve my forgiveness until they apologized. But then I realized, I MUST forgive.
When someone hurts you, its like they have driven a stake into your chest. To forgive them you have to pull it out; leaving the stake in would only bleed you to death. But pulling it out would be extremely painful.
Today, someone drove a stake into my chest. I know this someone well, and I have been hoping this person would back me up in my dreams even though it may seem rather far fetched. But today, this person told me I have no talent and skill, and I do not write well. Ouch*
This person actually said that I'm not a good writer, when the people I do not know actually told me I have talent and skill. These strangers I call my readers (1,100 of them, base on my writer's blog) have faith in my writing skills. BUT this person, this person I trusted, does not think the same.
Can you imagine how sharp and thick that stake was?
I was angry and hurt. I wanted to hate this person because of what this person said. Sure, their statement is rather invalid as this person has not read any of my recent works. This person read my first novel, which I wrote 2 years ago, and that was it. Do you know that one can progress a lot in 2 years? I have asked this person to read my latest stories, but this person refused. So clearly, this person has no right to judge.
But this does not make it easier to forgive. In fact, it makes it harder.
So, being that I really wanted to pull the stake out of my chest, I asked God to help. And he reminded me of something.
When Christ was on the cross, he told God to forgive those who hurt him because they did not know what they were doing. Similarly, I decided to follow after Christ and forgive this person for this person did not know what they were saying.
If Christ could forgive those who whipped him, crowned him with thorns, drove nails into his palms, and most of all, called him names and did not believe in him, THEN I should be able to do the same to the person who intentionally or unintentionally decided to be mean for that split second.
I'll have to always remember that if God can forgive so much, I should be able to forgive too!