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Updated: Aug 29, 2023

When I think of forgiveness, I think of what come before it: hurt, anger, bitterness, resentment. There is also pain, sadness, and depression. We have all been there. We have been hurt by someone before. Someone did something mean to us. Others overlooked us or treated us poorly. Even others have said something to us or about us that was not true or deserving. It hurt us, caused us to cry and made us sad and depressed. The sadness then sometimes changes into anger, then bitterness and resentment. It takes over us and by the time we know it, minutes have passed, hours, days (for some of us, even years maybe) and we still find ourselves clouded by these feelings when we see that person or are reminded of that incident. When I think of forgiveness, I think of these things that come before it, the heaviness of it all can be overwhelming.

On the other hand, when I think of forgiveness, I also think of what comes after it: reconciliation, peace, happiness, healing, mercy, and love. When we forgive someone, we are extending empathy and compassion for that person. Reconciliation and peace usually follow which brings healing and happiness. And most importantly, when we forgive someone, we learn firsthand about mercy and love. For anyone who has been on the receiving end of forgiveness, you will agree with me that it is a gift. And for anyone on the giving end, you will agree with me that it is freeing. When I think of forgiveness, I think of these things that come after it, the beauty of it all, and wow, it can also be overwhelming.

I know that we’ve all experienced what comes before forgiveness. What I do hope is that we also experience what comes after it too. But to experience what comes after, you must do what is often very difficult: you must forgive.

Forgiving is one of the hardest things to do as a person. God knows the pain and hurt that we feel, and therefore He knows that it is not easy for us to forgive. It is why He commands it of us. Ephesians 4:31-32 tells us to “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander,” and that we must “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ forgave you.” Not only are we instructed to forgive others who have sinned against us, but we were given the ultimate example through Christ Jesus. Colossians 3:13 tells us to “bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

It is through Christ that we are redeemed, and our sins are forgiven. Ephesians 1:7 tells us that in Christ we have “redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” God shows us love and mercy and grace. He forgives us our sins and transgressions against Him and renews us each day. Forgiving is hard, but it is possible through Him by following His commands and His example.

I believe we all know what comes before forgiveness: hurt, sadness, depression, anger, bitterness, and resentment. But I urge us to not dwell too long on those things; they are too heavy. Instead, let us move our focus to what comes after forgiveness. Proverbs 17:9 tells us that “love prospers when a fault is forgiven.” When we are in pain from the hurt that others have caused us through their words and actions, let us lean unto God and follow His instructions and His example to forgive so that we may be overwhelmed by the beautiful experience of reconciliation, peace, happiness, healing, mercy, and above all, love.


Jer (N. Kx. Tsim Nuj) Kue

Jer Kue been married to her husband, Tsim Nuj Kue, for 16 years and is blessed with two wonderful children, Zechariah who is 10 years old, and Isabella who is 4. They currently live in Rhode Island and serve at Providence Hmong Church of the CMA. Their family enjoys spending time together, hanging out with their church family, and traveling. A fun fact about Jer is that she loves to eat qhob poob (who doesn't?)...with chicken feet. Yum.

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