Principle 3: Completely forgive all of the people who have hurt you.
Receiving God’s grace is so wonderful and life-changing! And we can take that gift even further by giving to others what God has given to us.
Before you decide to stop reading, remember this: God never asks us to do anything without giving us the ability to do it, and He always has our best interest at heart!
No, it’s not easy to choose to let go of your anger toward someone who has hurt you or to move on from memories of the unfair treatment you experienced. But choosing NOT to forgive is much more painful in the long run than trusting God and going through the process of forgiveness.
The truth is, if we refuse to obey God and forgive others, we’re putting ourselves in a position in which our faith is hindered and there’s willful sin between us and God.
Jesus tells us in Mark 11:25-26 (AMP), Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him [drop the issue, let it go], so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions and wrongdoings [against Him and others]. [But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your transgressions.]
Unforgiveness is serious business! And God understands the struggle you may be having to forgive, especially if the one who hurt you isn’t sorry or asking your forgiveness. But you can receive His grace to do what seems too hard for you if you’ll take these steps of faith:
Forgiveness releases God to do His work in me. I’m happier and feel better physically when I’m not filled with the poison of unforgiveness.Joyce Meyer
1. Pray for them.
- Jesus says in Matthew 5:44: …Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
- You may not feel like praying for one who has hurt you, but you’ll find it’s hard to keep hating someone you pray for. Be honest with God and tell Him if you don’t feel like forgiving but you want to obey Him more. Do your best to do your part in the process, and He’ll do a work in you – the part you can’t do.
2. Bless them.
- Romans 12:14 (AMP) says, Bless those who persecute you [who cause you harm or hardship]; bless and do not curse [them].
- To bless someone means you speak well of them; likewise, to curse someone means you speak evil of them. Stop rehearsing what they have done to you, both in your thoughts and conversation, and find a way to do something nice for them. As you pray, God can help you determine what you should do.
Write a prayer to God about anyone you’re struggling to forgive, and speak blessings over them. Remember, you don’t have to feel like it…you just need to make a conscious decision to be obedient to God and yield your mind, will and emotions to Him.