Let no one think that forgiving is easy. Forgiving is costly. Forgiving cost God His only Son. Forgiving cost Jesus Christ His life. Forgiving will cost you.
My first husband, suffering from terminal cancer, was fired from his job because of a defamatory letter circulated to his superiors and peers. Retirement benefits were bound up with that job. Because he was fired, he lost them.
I did not say, “Praise the Lord anyhow!” The truth is I was furious. So overwhelming were my thoughts of hatred, vengeance—even murder—toward the one who had written the letter that the very thoughts terrified me.
I went into my living room, closed the doors, got down on my knees, and prayed. I saw the sun come up the next morning before I finished dealing with all the hate in my heart. That forgiveness cost me emotionally. It broke my heart. Forgiveness cost me my will. I longed to justify my husband and punish the person who wrote the letter. Those desires had to be sacrificed to obedience.
But I rose from my knees free, because with the help of God, I forgave. While forgiving is costly, failure to forgive is even more costly.