So far we still find there are many Christians who find it difficult to release forgiveness to others (I hope it is not you). Whereas God distinctly commands us to forgive. Why is it often difficult to forgive others? What causes it? These are the causes why someone is difficult to forgive:
1. The heart that less aware and grateful for how great the gift of forgiveness that God has given him (Matt. 18:28-30).
If we realize the magnitude of our debt to God and how great the gift of forgiveness that has been given to us, then we will easily release forgiveness to others, considering how small the sins of others to us.
2. Inner conflicts that have not been resolved.
Let us compare Joseph with his brothers. His brothers hated Joseph so much. But if we trace it, there were no sins or mistakes that Joseph did that commensurate with their hatred. And we all know, Joseph finally received bad treatments from them: Joseph was thrown into a dry well in order to torture and kill him slowly. Then finally Joseph was sold as a slave to Egypt. Hatred that they had actually not only coming from mistakes that Joseph made against them, but it came from an inner conflict within their own heart that jealous to Joseph. That’s what caused them so difficult to forgive and love him as a brother.
On the contrary, Joseph that was treated so badly and sadistic by his brothers, forgave easily and did not take revenge on them, even though Joseph had the power to do anything against them when he became the ruler of Egypt. Joseph did not retaliate to the treatment of Potiphar and his wife who had slander him and put him in jail. He forgave easily. Why was that? Because Joseph did not have an inner conflict within him.
Inner conflicts that still exist within us will make us difficult to forgive others. Therefore, inner conflict must be resolved.
3. Self righteousness is too high.
Indications if we have too high self-righteousness:
“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye” (Luke 6:41-42).
a. Always justifying himself and blaming others.
This person has a high awareness of other people’s mistakes. He could see clearly the slightest mistake made by others, but he was not aware of the mistake he was doing. This is what makes people so difficult to forgive.
b. Always looking at other people from their own perspective (subjective).
This person can not see objectively. He looked at everything from his point of view alone. Can you imagine how a person who have a beam in front of him to judge others? Even though someone else’s fault is just a speck, he will still see it as big as a beam. This is what makes people so difficult to forgive.
c. Always demanding others with heavy demands, but less demanding to himself.
This person put a heavy yoke on other people’s shoulder while he himself did not carry it. He demands people with the highest standards, but demands himself with the lowest standard. This is what makes people so difficult to forgive.
d. Preferring to judge than forgive.
Obviously this person prefer to judge people than forgive them. He always busy judging people and forget to forgive. Whereas God forbids us to judge and commands us to forgive people.
e. Difficult to accept advice from others therefore it is difficult to change.
This person is difficult to accept advice from others, because he felt what he did was right. That’s why people like this is most difficult to change. And also the most difficult to forgive.
f. Wanting to seek human recognition (always wanted to look good).
This person always wants to look good in front of people. He always wants to be seen good and honorable. That’s why ‘apologize’ first often become a taboo to do. Sometimes he consider that as a ‘disgrace’ for his life. This is what makes people so difficult to forgive.
May the truth about the causes why someone is difficult to forgive can open your spiritual eyes and cause grace to be poured out so that all we can can resolve them all and there will be no obstacles for us to forgive easily. Forgiving is not a difficult thing for us!