I know I have sinned and have inflicted pain upon others, even though it is not my intention to cause harm, I continue to come short of the glory of God. I have also felt the heartache that comes when others have sinned against me. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
What do we do with the pain that comes upon us by the deliberate or unintentional acts of others? Forgive:)
Here are few reasons we might chose to forgive:
God requires us to forgive. “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.” D&C 64:10
We want to be forgiven, so we also forgive. “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:25
We desire to love and bless others. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven. . .” Matt 5:44-45
We want the Lord to stand between the enemy and us and fight our battles. “For behold, I do not require at their hands to fight the battles of Zion; for, as I said in a former commandment, even so will I fulfil—I will fight your battles.” D&C 105:14 “Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.” 2 Chronicles 32:7-8
Our hearts are healed, and we receive peace. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 “And after their temptations, and much tribulation, behold, I, the Lord, will feel after them, and if they harden not their hearts, and stiffen not their necks against me, they shall be converted, and I will heal them.” D&C 112:13 “The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.” Psalms 29:11
The serpents of life will come, and we will all be bitten at one time or another. Many people are bitten on a continual basis. We are free to choose our response. Chasing after the snake will only drive the venom to our hearts. The result is death. The other option is to look to the one on the cross, be healed, and live. The choice is ours.
“And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.” Numbers 21:6-9
Forgiveness is a balm that heals wounds. Through the power of Christ, we are able to let the pain go.
Balm of Gilead An aromatic gum or spice used for healing wounds (Gen. 43:11; Jer. 8:22; 46:11; 51:8). A bush producing the resin from which the balm was made grew so plentifully in Gilead in Old Testament times that the balm came to be known as the “balm of Gilead.”
Jesus Christ suffered for my sins and for the sins of my enemies. In anger, I might despise the idea of my enemy’s sins being forgivable, but it is true. “For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.” D&C 18:11
The bond of love grows deep between Christ and the repentant sinner. “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” Luke 7:47
I have experienced and observed a phenomenon that does not make sense to our worldly ways:
We communicate with each other by our words and thoughts. We don’t even necessarily need to be in the same room to communicate with another person (I’m not talking about texting). You’ve probably had the experience of getting a phone call just as you were about to call that same person, or you begin to say something just to hear those words coming out of the mouth of a friend. This is the kind of communication I’m talking about.
When we are angry we send spiritual weapons to our enemies. The enemy feels the vibes and usually reacts by sending a spiritual weapon in response. This war continues and exhausts both participants' physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual energy. The war escalates, continues to build, and often takes on forms of physical, verbal, and monetary abuse. Both are injured, loose their peace, and are left to fight it out on their own.
Jesus gives us an alternative if we’re open to his ways. The pain in our heart is healed through following this very wise counsel:
"Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away."
"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" Matt 5:38-44
When you’re tired of the pain, experiment upon the word by doing something kind for your enemy. It’s even better if you can give of yourself anonymously. First of all, an anonymous gift won’t be rejected by your enemy. Secondly, heaven will reward you Matt 6:1-4.
When your enemy sends you a fiery, angry dart send back a ray of loving light. It might sound crazy, but it really works. It takes away the pain and turmoil. A forgiving heart is a heart at peace. When we forgive, we open the space for Christ to run interference. He stands between our enemy and us and provides a protective shield. Forgiveness really does heal broken and wounded hearts. It is a gift from God.
Jesus Christ, the prince of peace, forgives sin. He loves us in spite of our sins and is willing to work with us even though we are weak. Through him we can be made strong Ether 12:27.
A lamb is very easy to kill. One account I read concerned a butcher who had been asked to slaughter a family’s Passover lamb. The butcher anticipated a routine experience, as he had slaughtered many animals. He related how after slitting the small creature’s throat, the little lamb turned and licked the blood off of the butcher’s hands. This hardened butcher deeply moved and forever changed. The tender licking of the blood from the man’s hand was a sign of unconditional love and forgiveness.