What happens ever so often (can I say daily), is that we get hurt. People disappoint, don’t live up to their promises, lie, only use you to their advantage… the list goes on.
Why should I forgive someone who wronged me? Don’t they deserve for me not to love them back? I feel hurt and I want to do everything I possibly can to show you how you hurt me.
What I have learnt is that holding a grudge, or not forgiving someone, keeps you from being free. Being the you that you were created to be. In your mind you keep on repeating the things someone did to hurt you (on purpose or unintentionally). And thoughts of how you can kind of “make them pay” play out in your head. You are thinking about something in the past. Your actions in the future depends on how someone else once treated you. You don’t live out who you are, you live out that you want to show others they hurt you.
From experience I can tell you that the people I held a grudge against moved on. They forgot about the unpleasant, thoughtless things they said or did. They went their own path. The action that caused me pain may only be a distant, underlying memory in their minds that might pop up someday… maybe… possibly… or never. I too have hurt people. Obviously I don’t hurt people intentionally, but it happens. I AM HUMAN! 🙂 We all are.
And I too have moved on with my life. Throughout my life I became aware of people I hurt, and I could ask for them to forgive me. But I am telling you this: People don’t always apologize for what they did wrong. Majority don’t. If you have the guts, apologize. Be the better person. I am pleading you, because everyone feels hurt and everyone can convince themselves that the world owes them something. You owe only yourself the courage to forgive and ask for forgiveness.
We should love others the way Jesus loved us. And not only the people close to us, because that is easy, but the people who don’t like you.
I love the way the Message translation states Jesus words:
“I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best – the sun to warm and the rain to nourish – to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” – Matthew 5:44 – 48 (emphasis added)
Forgiveness is taken up very seriously.
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” – Matthew 5:14 – 15
Jesus died for our sins on the cross. He came to forgive us for all the things we did wrong. He chose to think about you when He died on the cross.
“All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” – Acts 10:43
I choose to love others the way Jesus loves me. It is not always easy. And I fail, time and time again. But Jesus is right next to me. He picks me up and teaches me. He shows me how to live, to love. Ask Him and He will help you. If you don’t have the heart to forgive, just ask God: “God, give me grace to forgive those who wronged me. I don’t have the strength, but You do. I trust in You. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”
Plain and simple.