“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
There isn’t a human being alive who hasn’t been hurt in some way, whether unintentional or intentional. There are many people who have been treated unfairly or victimized.For some people, who have been victimized significantly – they feel that the people who have harmed them don’t deserve forgiveness. The idea of forgiving their abuser seems impossible.
Not forgiving allows evil to dwell in your heart
The problem with withholding forgiveness is that, by not forgiving, you hold onto hate. You may have had a pure and loving heart before someone hurt you. Now your heart holds a seed of hate. Until you forgive, that hate will always live in your heart. In essence, you have been changed, and a seed of evil – that wasn’t there before someone abused you – is now part of you. Evil lives within you. That evil seed has a way of growing. You may be consumed with all kinds of hateful thoughts, saying angry words and seeking revenge. You may even think of murder.
How to cleanse your heart
Scripture provides us with the cure for removing this evil someone else has planted in our heart. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, outcry and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and tender-hearted to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.”– Ephesians 4:31-32 When you forgive, your heart is cleansed.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. understood the power of forgiveness very well, summarizing it in the following quote:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”– Martin Luther King, Jr.
JESUS instructs us…
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”– Mark 11:25
In my life time, I have had close friends and family members to hurt me to the core. People who have used me. People who have really just done some things toward me that I didn’t want to forgive them. Sometimes when people hurt us and we say we forgive them, but in reality we are still holding on to grudges and talking about what that person did to us, then that means we have never truly forgiven if we are still latching on to the hurt.
I had to learn how to forgive past hurts fully because I knew that I wasn’t perfect. How could I not forgive others who treated me badly and want GOD to forgive me from my trespasses? When you learn to truly forgive, you will be at peace within yourself. You have to let all the hurt and pain go and truly forgive! GOD knows the pain you feel but you can’t allow yourself to be filled with resentment. GOD has really filled me with the power to forgive those who truly hurt me and if they were to come to me today and in need, I would help them!
As Christians, we must continue to do good to those who hurt us. We still must love and whatever hurt us, we must not do the same to them. Matthew 7:12 says, “ Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” Forgiving is not for the other person, it is for you!!!
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