“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18
While the world was doing its worst to Jesus, Jesus was doing His best for the world. The greatest injustice in history was when the perfect, holy, Son of God was crucified on a cross for the crimes and sins of others. One would expect His eyes to be fixed like lasers on the ones who spat on Him, beat Him, mocked Him, and nailed Him to the cross as He died in agony. But His focus was not on them; His focus was on His Father. How do we know this? It is evidenced by the words that came out of His mouth. “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’”
Every time someone hurts you, the Devil wants you to focus on that person – on what he has done to you or how she has hurt you. The truth, however, is that every hurt and disappointment is an opportunity to turn your focus to God. When we fix our eyes on Jesus, despite our circumstances, something miraculous can happen. God can replace our anger with compassion and our hurt with forgiveness. Fixing our eyes on Jesus won’t necessarily result in the other person being changed, but it will always result in us being changed.
Holding on to feelings of hurt, anger, and betrayal are toxic. Refusing to follow Jesus’ example and forgive others who have wronged you is like poison to your soul. In the end, this decision will rob you of the joy and contentment that is yours in Christ Jesus. To choose forgiveness is to choose the eternal way. This choice brings freedom to your life, and it shines the light of the Gospel into the life of the people around you.
Have you been hurt, taken advantage of, or betrayed? If so, is your focus on Christ, or on the one who has wronged you? Freely offering forgiveness is the best thing you can do not only for the one who has wronged you, but also for yourself. You will never regret doing things God’s way.
God, help me to focus my heart on You when I am hurt by others so that I can forgive them in Your Name. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.