Forgiving others and receiving forgiveness

Have you hurt someone and can’t seem to get past it?  Has someone hurt you and you can’t seem to get past it?  The Bible has very clear scriptures regarding forgiveness.  The longer you hold on to something the more bitter it becomes.  Sometimes life lessons are bitter, but if you learn to forgive others then it releases freedom to you.  It may take time for the wound to heal, but the more you allow yourself to let it go, the closer to God you become.  Colossians 3:13 has a very important message, “13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”  Once you do something wrong and ask God for forgiveness and to cleanse you with His blood, and try not to do it again, God does not hold on to it, and neither should you hold on to it.  If you do hold on to it, the enemy will just use it to manipulate you to feeling worse about yourself and/or that person then you already do.

That doesn’t mean you should go around trusting everyone all the time, and being naive when they have abused you, but you have to set boundaries.  Part of that is that whether the hurt was intentional or not trust that God is only trying to teach you something.  Because He is your Father He doesn’t want you to be hurt even more than you already are, and He is trying to protect you from future mistakes.  Romans says “there is no condemnation in Christ”, so if you have done something bad, really bad, the enemy will try to make you feel like you are a “Judas” and betraying Christ, when you are a “Peter” and even though you made that mistake, God is going to let you repent, learn, and fulfill your destiny.

The best thing to do is make peace with that person and not to hold on to grudges for very long.  Matthew 5:23-24 says, ” 23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift”

Sometimes we have to learn things the hard way by not listening to the voice of God, and being obedient the first time, but God is patient with us, and He gives us the free will, and He knows what we will do so He has provided us a way out.  There is no temptation that is too hard to bear and God does not give you more than you can handle.  Sometimes the Lord uses situations to help be a blessing or to minister to others and when you have faced that situation yourself then you can be better equipped to provide insight to another person.  The key is to have a closer walk with God and that comes with the testings of patience and endurance.  Like my favorite verse in Hebrews 12, which God so graciously tries to put into my life, “No discipline or punishment or chastening is joyful, but is grievous and painful, but in the end produces fruits of righteousness”.

When God allows things to happen, it is not because he doesn’t love you, but it is because there is a lesson that he wants you to learn, but that lesson is not just for you, but it is a blessing for many people.  Like with Abraham, the lessons he learned with his walk of faith and learning from his mistakes to trust, we all have a walk with Jesus, and we must be willing to the learn the lesson because he is shaping our character.  We might agonize in pain, heartache, and disappointment, and even hate the way we feel or the circumstances, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t growing, or that we aren’t learning, or that we are falling away from God.

God doesn’t look down with a magnifying glass and say, “Who can I fry now?” or “Who can send to eternal hell and judgment now?”  He really wants us to seek Him because when we do seek Him, and we receive the fruits of righteousness that come from our suffering, we don’t know who that will impact down the road, and who will be impacted down the road.

If someone has hurt you yesterday, that hurt is in the past.  We shouldn’t keep holding on that pain forever, or looking at it so many ways.  It may be just something that you have to go through in life, and God will get you out of it.

You might say, “nobody understands what this person did to me”, but I guarantee you that someone either understands, or has gone through much worse, and Jesus has gone through that pain for you, so dear friends there is no need to hold on to your pain or your hurts.  The past is past, and yesterday is forgotten.

If the person hurt you today, don’t go around saying, “well it’s still today, so I am going to hold on to this hurt as long as possible.”  It may seem foolish and funny right now, but this is the way some of us act sometimes.  Because we can’t see or be objective.  This is why we pay therapists, and counselors, when God is right there, your Almighty Counselor, and He is ready to comfort you.  The first thing you should do when you have calmed down and say, “Look, this is how I feel, and I feel bad for what I did to you.”  This is whether to the other person or to God, and try to make amends if it is the person.  If the person doesn’t want to forgive you, then just wait and time heals all wounds.  But you can let the person know that you want to make peace with them and that you care about them.  Who knows, maybe they might say, “you don’t need to feel bad, I forgave you a long time ago.”

Another key thing to remember is not to go and talk bad about the person, and vent to other people.  Proverbs says “the foolish man vents all things, and the wise man keeps things to himself”.  It is not good to gossip, or talk bad about the person even if the person is your boss, your co-workers, people in ministry, or anyone else for that matter.  Gossip, backbiting, slander, and venting can all cause division among people and that is the last thing we want to do.   As much as we don’t like it, we want to restore harmony with each other, especially as believers and witnesses to Christ.  Take things that happen to you with a grain of salt, and let it just slide off your shoulders.  That is how you can become more content and realize the true stability that you have as believers in Christ.





2 thoughts on “Forgiving others and receiving forgiveness

  1. Forgiveness is the hardest thing to do. It seems so much easier to cling on to the hurt and the bad feelings toward someone else. When in reality it just eats you up a live. It steals your joy and your peace. And when that happens you have just let the devil win. And who wants him to win? I don’t. I remind myself lately that I want to live in joy. It feels so much better. Let the anger and bitterness go. You aren’t hurting the other person, you are hurting yourself.

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