Hard to do, but easy to say. Some people may be
thinking why should I forgive someone who not only did me dirty but intentionally wanted to see me suffer. Why would I forgive them? I want them to suffer just as bad as I did. Forgive them, yeah right!!! That’s for weak people. How can I forgive someone who hurt me so badly?
Forgiveness is definitely hard to do but not impossible to accomplish. Let’s look at the word forgive. It means to wipe the slate clean, to pardon, to cancel a debt. Forgiveness does not excuse the person for what they did. But it is actually an act of love, mercy and grace you give to others. And it’s your choice once forgiven if you will allow that person back in your life or not.
The Bible is big on Forgiveness. And if you walk with God you are commanded to forgive others. In the book of Ephesians 4:31-32 it reads “Get rid of all bitterness, passion and anger. No more shouting or insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort. Instead, be kind and tender-heated to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ”.
Even while dying on the cross Jesus asked His Heavenly Father to forgive people who wanted him crucified. In Luke 23: 32-35 (NIV) it reads “Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals- one on his right side, the other on his left side. Jesus said “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One”. Jesus was able to look past his circumstances and pain to ask for forgiveness for people who wanted him dead. To me that not only shows His love for others but His empathy (the ability to understand and share the feelings of another) and compassion towards people even while hanging on the cross as an innocent man. He knew his heart was clear and free of guilt.
Does God really want you to forgive people who betrayed you, lied on you, tried to destroy your character or said hurtful things to you? Yes, you must be forgive them. It not only takes a big person to forgive someone, especially if they never apologized, but it also takes a mature person as well. Forgiveness is not for them, but it is for you. It brings you a peace of mind and frees you from anger and bitterness. Forgiveness empowers you to recognize the pain you suffered without letting the pain define you and it helps you heal so you can move on with your life.
At some point in your life you will have to forgive someone or someone will have to forgive you.
You may want to forgive someone or you may be struggling forgiving someone. Here are some important steps you may want to take:
1. Pray- Go directly to God and be honest about your hurt and pain. Lay everything at His feet and leave it there.
2. Understand why forgiveness is important and necessary.
3. Remeber forgiveness does not require reconciliation.
4. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you need to tell the person that he or she is forgiven.
5. Practice giving to others
6. Practice having empathy for others
7. Accept what has happened
8. Understand the lessons you are supposed to learn
9. Focus on loving yourself
10. Don’t live in the past
11. Journal how you feel.
12. Work and focus on positive things going on in your life.
13. Read books on Forgiveness and listen to positive music
14. Set boundaries
In order to forgive you must have the love of Christ in your heart. You must be willing to look past the hurt and pain and see there is a reason and bigger purpose for your pain. Forgiveness is the best gift you can give yourself. It’s powerful and it shows how strong and loving you really are as a person.