I held a grudge against her for years.
Her words couldn’t be undone and I couldn’t forget them. They made me feel so little, like my experiences were insignificant compared to hers.
I felt torn down. I replayed what she said over and over in my mind, hoping that I misconstrued it, but the damage had been done.
The pain and hurt changed my perspective, leading me to be cautious about opening up to others.
I couldn’t bring myself to forgive her—let alone look at her.
I figured that, if I forgave her, she would think that her actions were okay; then she wouldn’t understand the suffering she caused me.
Have you ever been hurt by a friend and struggled to forgive?
In our distress, we can feel that unforgiveness gives us power and enables us to have control to not get hurt again … but it’s actually causing us further harm.
Jesus calls us to forgive. I learned that choosing forgiveness is necessary for the healing that I desired and the peace in the pain. So can you.
We want to honor Jesus in all that we do and live as he has called us to. Forgiveness is essential to do this.
This path may feel impossible, but God’s word reveals the truth of how it’s attainable.
Paul wrote to the Church in Colossae, teaching them how to live as a Christian, and these words are for us too.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 NIV
We can take note of this verse and its reference to forgiveness being a command.
Jesus has forgiven us and we should do the same: this is a powerful truth that changes everything.
He hasn’t just forgiven us once; he forgives us continually, without holding anything against us. He never throws back our mistakes at us but freely forgives us.
His grace and love for us are boundless. They allow us to receive this gift from him. He stands by us as we continue to make mistakes and is patient for us to return to him.
God is a loving father who desires nothing more than to embrace us when we repent for our wrongdoings in humility, love and reverence to him.
We must see others how he sees us. When we think of the offences we have caused others, then we can empathize and feel remorse—knowing that we are not different from them.
We may not receive an apology or see remorse from their wrongdoing, but despite this we still can (and should) forgive because of God’s gift of forgiveness to us. This is very hard, but we can find peace that we’re loved and seen by Jesus.
We can move forward and not have a heart that is wounded when we recognize his forgiveness. A wounded heart can be projected onto others, causing them hurt in response.
Instead, we should see people as Jesus sees them. Walk in humility and approach them in this manner, understanding that we have shortcomings but Jesus doesn’t hold them against us.
However, even when we have made the decision to forgive someone, it might feel like we are still hurt and are carrying anger or resentment or bitterness toward them.
The wounds in our hearts may be deeper than we expect. We may be unaware of them. We need to lay it all out to him and depend on him for restoration, because he knows the depths of our hearts.
He can reveal to us what we need to work through and deal with in order to completely let go of the hurt and forgive.
Friend, this is not an easy task … but Jesus’s love and gentleness are always present to allow you to do it — to walk in complete forgiveness.
He sees you and loves you so much. He is with you.
As your heart changes and your perspective grows on how he has forgiven you, your knowledge of who he is (and his love for you) will grow.
A closer relationship with him makes forgiveness even easier when hurt comes your way again.
Grudges can be a thing of the past as you embrace forgiveness and live a more compassionate life.
Forgiveness is necessary, and is the key to setting us free from the affliction and pain caused by others.
Nikki Evanson is a wife, mother and — first and foremost — a grateful believer in Jesus Christ. She is the author of the blog Heart Wounds Healed (nikkievanson.com), which she created with the intention to help and minister to women who follow Jesus; to help them deal with the hurts in their hearts so that they can grow closer and deeper in their relationships with Jesus. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heartwoundshealed and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/nikkievanson/.
We thank you, Nikki, for contributing to this month’s publication of Titus-two.com sharing your heart about the importance of Forgiveness in the life of the Believer.
You are loved to Heaven and Back, Nikki ~~
LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary