We all battle with this … forgiveness. No matter how many messages and sermons we hear about forgiveness, it is still never easy. It still hurts…especially if we have been hurt by a loved one, someone we expect to do better…
So what I am about to say is not going to make it not hurt or hurt less, but help to know what to do when it does. We have all had our fair shares of disappointments from people that have been close to us, and we always find ourselves saying those words over and over again, ” I can not believe that he did that to me.”
It hurts…literally. It is like a deep knife through your soul, and at that moment we do not ever think that we can let go.
But we must remember, that we also have hurt other people, we also have disappointed other people that trusted us, we have driven that same knife into other people’s souls. The truth is, we are all human and humans are bound to fail.
You may disagree, you may say you have tried your best to be good all your life and you can say with certainty that you have never hurt anyone in your life before. I hear you and I agree.
Perhaps you did not a fellow human being, but can you honestly say that you have never hurt God before?
That is probably not what you want to be hearing right now but we must remember how much God forgave us so that we can extend this same forgiveness to others.Trust me, it is much easier said than done. Forgiveness does not mean what the other person did was right, it just means that you have chosen to not let it bother you or dwell in your heart. It means that you release the person and will not hold it against that person. You have chosen to let it go.
Now practically, how can we forgive people that have hurt us?
First of all, we need to give our feelings to God and by that I mean simply tell God that you are hurt…tell Him that you feel deeply disappointed in that person…tell Him that you want to strangle the person and that you wish something bad would happen to the person…I mean tell Him exactly how you feel.
After that, tell him to help you forgive the person…even though you might not feel like.
Next, try not to replay the incident in your mind. If the person said hurtful words, try not to go over the scenario again. This does not mean that it would not pop into your head every once in a while, but consciously stop the thought. Try to think of something else, shake it away. The reason is because, you get hurt all over again when you replay it in your mind. It is not easy to do this, it may seem unsuccessful at first, but as you try, it gets better with time.
Next, pray for the person.I do not mean that you should pray that the person gets hit by a truck or that he slips and all his teeth fall out…
….that would be what you want to do, but do what Jesus wants you to do…pray blessings upon them, pray God’s favor upon them. pray that God would help their weaknesses…pray for God’s provision for them. You may not mean it at first and it may be hard to get the words out, but keep going… and soon you will see that you have let them go.
Remember the devil wants you to remain angry, he does not want you to go past this, he wants you to hold them in your heart and make you feel like you are the one with the power.Remember that Ephesians chapter six verse twelve reminds us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and rulers in the heavenly realm. Do not fall for his lies, fight him back by praying for them…that way you are defeating the enemy. God says to pray for our enemies and those who maltreat us.
Forgiving a person and letting go of the hurt might not happen immediately, sometimes it takes several days, even several weeks. Sometimes you have to forgive one offence several times but…as long as you are determined to, and trust God to, you will.
Set yourself free, throw that grudge away and put the enemy to shame!