You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
"When everything in you wants to hold a grudge, point a finger, and remember the pain---God wants you to lay it all aside."
Wow, what an attention grabber! That phrase is written on the cover of R.T.Kendall's book, "Total forgiveness."
What is total forgiveness? Jesus said in Luke 23:34, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
All of us have a story to tell, and we may think it is impossible to forgive the offenses against us. "But what he or she did to me was so terrible" and I'm shore that is the case. Remember, at the foot of the cross on which Jesus hung there was not a lot of sorrow. In fact His trial was a farce and those who demanded His death were filled with glee at His sentence. How much worse could it be? Jesus' response was, "Father, forgive them." Easy or not, this must be our response to those who have hurt us.
Kendall says the ultimate proof that total forgiveness takes place is when we sincerely petition the Father to let those who have hurt us off the hook---even if they have hurt us in the worst possible way. It is hard but Father, forgive!