When someone has hurt us, forgiving them can feel like the last thing we want to do. We feel justified in our unforgiveness. Why should we forgive them? Why should we let go of the hurt and bitterness? The truth is, if we don’t forgive we’re actually holding ourselves hostage. We hurt more, become consumed by bitterness, and stay stuck in the past. God doesn’t want us to live like this. It affects our future as well as our present. It stops us from having healthy relationships with others. It stops us from stepping into the amazing plans God has for us. It stops us from experiencing His joy and peace. So what can we do? The Bible makes it very clear: ‘Forgive as the Lord forgave you.’ Forgiveness isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. It doesn’t excuse the behaviour of others, or mean that we have to invite them back into our lives or trust them again, but it does set us free. When we’re finding it tough to forgive, we should take some time to remember that God forgives us. However many mistakes we make, if we come to Him and confess them, He forgives us. He doesn’t hold our sin and mistakes against us. He shows grace and mercy. Jesus said: ‘Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you’ (Luke 6:28 NIV). We need to go beyond forgiving people, and actively pray for them. Praying God’s blessings on those who’ve hurt us takes real strength and maturity. But it’s what God calls us to do. So let’s ask Him to help us have the courage to forgive and pray for those who have hurt us.
Is there someone you need to forgive? Ask God to help you have the strength to start the process of forgiveness, and then pray for them.
The UCB Word For You