He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died. Acts 7:60
Forgiveness is given to those least deserving, which is what can make it so hard. It’s not easy to forgive, especially the one who isn’t seeking or asking for forgiveness. When someone isn’t sorrowful for what they have done, it makes it so much harder to forgive that person, especially when it’s personal. When you’ve been personally wronged, mistreated, or misrepresented it makes forgiveness a lot more difficult.
As Stephen was being stoned by his accusers, his last words were, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” Does that sound familiar? It’s virtually the same thing that Jesus Himself said on the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Look at this word forgive for just a moment. It’s the combination of two words “for” and “give.” In essence, the word forgive means to “give beforehand.” In other words, to give before someone deserves it, desires it, or is seeking it. And to do this, we need a power much greater than ourselves. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to forgive. Just like Stephen, we must be “full of the Holy Spirit” in order to forgive, because forgiveness isn’t natural, it’s supernatural.
It takes a power far greater than ours to forgive, and we need His “super” on our “natural” to do it. Is there someone in your life than you need to forgive today? If so, don’t rely on your power to do it. Instead, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you and to forgive through you and then rely on His power to forgive.